Thank you Alison Chantrey, membership secretary of the LSA, for providing me with a subject for this week’s Lodge Log! On arriving at the LSA AGM last Thursday I found Alison wandering around thrusting her nose into every flower she could see and when challenged she said “Can you not smell that wonderful scent? What is it?” Yes I could smell it, and so could everyone around, but the source could not be tracked down. All around the award-winning Sarah Horne East Lodge garden we sniffed and searched, but to no avail. The incredibly pungent perfume was intoxicating, enthralling and all the more beguiling because we just could not find out where it was coming from.
After the AGM a few of us set off to the pub for a drink, but unfortunately Alison went the opposite way so she was not with us when the overpowering aroma hit us like a blast from an air freshener aerosol! It was the trees, and on further inspection it was obvious as the tiny, creamy yellow flowers, clustered in amongst the new green leaves of the Linden Tree, wafted gently in the evening breeze shaking their incredible scent into the night air.
Linden Trees, or sometimes referred to as Lime Trees, were popular in Victorian Parks and Gardens and the Linden Arches, in the Pump Room Gardens are so called because of the Linden trees lining the path. The supposed health benefits of the Linden tree may provide an answer for their popularity. An infusion of the flowers is used for many ailments from the common cold to epilepsy. In fact one account is that it is sufficient to sit beneath a tree to benefit from its efficacy! However if you have ever parked your car underneath a Linden tree and cursed the sticky substance that covers your car you may think twice about sitting under one! The residue is not from the tree, but from the aphids who find the scent intoxicating too! The scent can travel a mile or more it is so strong and incredibly gets stronger as it travels, which is why Alison and I could not track down the aroma in the immediate vicinity of East Lodge. It is loved by bees that have to work quickly to gather the nectar in a three week window! The East Lodge bees must be enjoying the banquet on their doorstep. The resulting honey is supposed to inherit the medicinal properties of the tree too.
In mythology the Linden tree is a symbol of peace, truth and justice, also considered a sacred tree in Poland, and grown in churchyards and in the centre of villages Linden trees can grow up to 70 feet tall and live to 1000 years old. The wood is excellent for carving and many ship’s figureheads are made from the Linden tree. The bark can be made into rope and as the tree ages many become hollow and provide homes for wildlife. All in all I have learned a great deal about these beautiful trees and we must be proud of the great number we have in Leamington. Please check out another blog for the Pump Room Gardens Restoration Project to find out more of the history and renovation plans. https://pumproomgardens.wordpress.com/
James Callaghan’s photographs of Leamington include the trees and the Pump Room Arches so enjoy them in the current exhibition and look at the real trees in a different light next time you wander through Jephson Gardens to visit East Lodge, or stroll around the Pump Room Gardens, prior to taking the waters, of course!
Coffee morning cake this month was Iced Ginger Cake and Blackcurrant Crumble Slice made from my brother’s blackcurrants. Lots of people in today, but no time for photos, so it’s just the cake to whet your appetite for the next one on Wednesday 16th August! However, I shall be in Edinburgh for the Fringe, so offers take up the Bake Off challenge…? Shameless plug now for my daughter’s play in Stratford-upon-Avon Attic Theatre this week! Tonight through to Saturday “The Course of True Love” 8pm and a Saturday matinee. Please support young, local talent! Previewing here and on to the Edinburgh Fringe 2017.
Well this is me signing off until August 30th as I am away! I might find time to add the occasional entry to the Lodge Log on a Wednesday depending on where I am if people are interested in Art in Moreton-in-Marsh or Hull, City of Culture or Edinburgh which is my itinerary! Comment on the blog page please! In the meantime there will be Art in the Park 5th and 6th August, (I’ll be a visitor on the Sunday for one day only!) and Veronica Pock is exhibiting her work in East Lodge 9th August-3rd September.
Happy Summer everyone!
(My thoughts alone!)