Flowers fill out the minute – but trees outlast your life

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

If there’s an opposite to green fingers, I’m the proud possessor of eight of them – aided and abetted by two thumbs of an equally non-verdant variety.

And that’s fine for the most part, because I’ve no desire for a lawn that looks like Lansdowne Road or Wembley; tufts of grass lift my soul a million times more than rolled surfaces smoother than your average airport runway.

Some might suggest that this love of wild grass might be down to a reluctance to get out the lawn mower and they might be right – but in an effort at consistency, I also don’t have any great time for flowers.

I don’t hate flowers, of course, because that would be irrational, bordering on disturbing. They don’t bother me at all; it’s more that I don’t see the point.

Wild flowers are a different matter because again that’s the beauty of nature; what bothers me is this notion of growing them in straight lines or little arrangements as though God had OCD.

For what it’s worth, I also don’t get the point in paying silly money for a bouquet and then sticking them in a vase to watch them quietly wither and die.

If you did like flowers, wouldn’t you prefer to see them in their natural environment rather that cut down at their most colourful to adorn your indoor table?

In complete contrast, I love trees – big gnarled chunks of wood with or without leaves on their expanse of branches.

There are three trees in our small back garden; all of them now way too big for the postage-stamp plot on which they stand, casting such an imposing presence that little more than moss can survive in their shadow.

But that’s a small price to pay for having these imposing, majestic trees in the first place – producing a sea of green in summer, blending to bronze though the autumn; naked, spindled branches through the winter until it all begins again in spring.

One is a cherry blossom that never ceases to amaze as it annually transforms itself overnight from something with ordinary beauty into a feast for the eyes and senses.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.