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Country diary: a preserved horse chestnut seems a ruin among ruins

07.02.2018
Příroda
Wenlock Edge, Shropshire: Planted to enhance the landscape around a medieval monastery, this tree has been saved from natural disintegration through pruning and loppingThe big old horse chestnut at Wenlock Priory has been pruned. I expect it's to do with reducing the great limbs of its crown to prevent the tree falling apart in gales. The amputations have an odd symmetry and, although the idea is for new growth to reshape the tree, it looks now like a ruin among the ruins of the medieval monastery. There may be five centuries between the destruction of the priory following its dissolution in 1540 and the pruning of the tree this winter but they seem so similar, as if made of the same strange fabric.Timber and masonry are, as Rose Macaulay said in Pleasure of Ruins (1953), "part of the ruin-drama staged perpetually in the human imagination". It's divided in two, she says: a desire to build them up and then knock them down. There is a sense that the lopped tree in the priory grounds now joins the remains of the past to be preserved as heritage. The horse chestnut was planted to enhance the landscape around the ruins, but it could not be allowed to disintegrate naturally through wind and rain and snowfall. A veneration of age extends to old trees: it behoves us to maintain it as a version of itself, if not its natural self. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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