Of Crab Apple Heaven, Forest High-Rises And Bad Press

First: the bad press. Lately I have been finding myself increasingly infuriated by the partial reporting and drip-drip narratives that the UK and US mass media have been turning out on matters of international importance. War mongering is the name of the game, and you will find it now in the broadcasts of once respectable and respected organs of communication. When governments and the press start scape-goating on the scale we are now seeing, we need to ask in whose interests they are actually acting; as in: who benefits?

But there is only so much fury one can take, so I’m turning my attention to crab apple blossom. And also to initiatives by people who are intent on making our human jungles into life-enhancing environments rather than wiping life off the face of the planet. On BBC’s Gardener’s World last week there was a feature on Milan’s Bosco Verticale – the arboreal tour de force (in all senses) by architect Stefano Boeri. You can find out all the ins and outs of the enterprise at Bosco Verticale.


One of the primary aims, apart from the provision of green high-density housing, was to reduce pollution levels in Milan. But of course – introduce vegetation and there are all manner of benefits – increase in biodiversity, and the creation of beautiful living spaces in places where you least expect to find them. Trees in the air – how wonderful is that. And in case you’re wondering why the crab apple intro, then crab apple trees are included in the planting of the Bosco Verticale.

The tree in my photos is Evereste , one of the several small varieties that grow to no more than 3 metres. We had to move it a couple of years ago, and were worried it might not survive. But here it is, boldly flowering by our rear garden fence. I love the many shades the flowers pass through – from cerise buds to white full blooms. I also recently learned you can buy crab apple varieties that are suitable for hedging. Can you imagine – a blossom and apple hedge – as wonderful as forests in the sky.

But back to Gardener’s World.  Bosco Verticale features at around 16 minutes and again at around 48 minutes:


50 thoughts on “Of Crab Apple Heaven, Forest High-Rises And Bad Press

  1. Your crab apple is gorgeous! I’m not so sure about the high-rise forest. I’d be worried about the weight and the maintenance (what if the trees stopped being looked after?) and what would happen in a fire? I’d prefer more public parks for people to enjoy, but I realise that space is at a premium in a city. As for the news, I stopped reading newspapers twenty years ago because they were becoming gossip mags, I may well stop watching the news on TV soon. I get so irritated about headline stories that disappear and we never get to know the full story or the outcome. They find time to go on about the bloody royals though!! Like we are all desperate to watch that wedding!

    1. That’s just it. No follow up on the stories. No outcomes reported on. Supposition and allegation rule. And as for the big royal distraction! But to return to much worthier matters – the building was designed with the weight of trees in mind, and they have all these aerial garden maintenance people who come and prune. But yes, what might happen in the face of economic melt-down. Would the trees take over the apartments…

      1. I was thinking that if the management company changed or the flats get one like I had (who never did any maintenance work) the trees would soon get out of hand.

      1. Goodness knows what is going on. I loathe politics, if only people could actually work together and not simply argue and put each other down just because they are in different parties. They behave like they are back in their public schools having a ‘debate’, with the snidey, comments and schoolboy snorts. Makes you (me) sick!!

      2. I totally agree it seems politicians are the same the world over, except maybe Bhutan seems to be getting it right. Big news tonight over here was almost a whole gang of councillors in Ipswich have been hauled out for corruption + the mayor

  2. Glorious shots, Tish. I’m quite interested in green buildings as well as green spaces in cities. I borrowed a book from the library not long ago that showed green buildings all over the world. It was fascinating. Reducing pollution was one reason, conserving water, another, and there’s the positive effect of plants and greenery. Green roofs are a good thing, too, although you just have to be sure there’s enough support (literal support) for them. But they can provide food as well as places for bees, butterflies, etc. to live and visit.


      1. I agree. I also like the idea of food gardens instead of yards, but some places don’t like that just like some places don’t want laundry to be hung outside. Government can be so annoying, can’t they? 🙂

  3. Selective hearing! Isn’t that what you need for the media these days, Tish? Or an off button. But then you would miss the good things too. Your photos are fabulous. Hedging, you say? Perhaps I should stay in the UK. 🙂 🙂 (if it’s any consolation, Mick is 100% with you on the subject. I’m much more head in the sand)

  4. Passion and flowers – quite a potent mix Tish. The media operates on the bread and circuses maxim whilst many of us would like impartial information. And so we must plant our own ideas and nurture the hope that peace will prevail. Meanwhile the blossom is simply beautiful – how big was your tree when you moved it?

    1. Wise words, thank you, Laura. I think the tree must’ve been around full size – 7-8 feet. We’d had it 10 years. Graham pruned all excess growth, so it has lost its billowy shape, which will hopefully be restored in time.

  5. P.s. I meant to say that it’s a great idea to plant up concrete – there is a living walled block opposite me but it relies on a lot of watering. So I have gone in for Sempervivums, Sedums and Echeverias for my windowsill – feeling smug about my green footprint!

      1. I recently received a ‘Liebster Award’ from the extremely kind Laura – aka Riddle from the Middle. As you may or may not know, in accepting the award, I must fulfil my part and nominate 11 other wonderful bloggers whose work I enjoy reading or have just discovered and I have nominated you, so please check out the link below if you are interested in accepting this prestigious prize.
        Best wishes from Stare of the Dog.

  6. News!!! Same over here, no mention of any other country unless it’s sensationalism. Even NZ never gets a mention unless we beat them at rugby. I’m looking forward to watching the gardeners world later. I have been dipping in and out of them on you tube since you told me about them. Beautiful photos of your crab apple, really brightens up the day.

  7. Bosco Verticale was one of the highlights during my stay in Milan last September/October. It was fascinating to see all the trees and bushes growing on the buildings. Everyone had a garden 🙂

  8. I reckon we only have so much energy in a given day and to spend the ‘connecting with the world beyond Self’ portion on mainstream media is such a waste.

    We gave up TV years ago and haven’t missed it a bit. If there’s something we want to watch it can, more than likely, be found on the interwebz.

    Same goes for news. I agree with HeyJude about the lack of depth in any ‘report’ even ‘venerable’ institutions have jumped the shark and head off into click-bait territory without a single eyelid blink. When I do want ‘news’ I source it widely online, then hit the salt shaker for generous pinches to season it with. 🙂

    1. You sound as if you have things taped. All the better for keeping one’s temper and sanity. We don’t have TV either. But I did like the radio. Not now though.

  9. Thanks I missed that episode, the bosco looks beautiful, but I’ don’t understand how it’s possible when tree roots spread so far, I’ll just have to try to watch it!

    1. On the link to Bosco Verticale, there are quite a lot of plans and pics of the building under construction. But on the prog the architect talked a lot about the kind of soil and species chosen. But I agree. One does wonder how it will be ten years on.

  10. Those crabapple photos are homage to a goddess of trees! I sometimes wonder if they can balance idiocies and brutalities in the world of politics and war. You weave your rage, the blossoms and the high rise forest together beautifully. I think I saw a similar garden-building in Sydney, although not on this scale. Maybe it’s the high-rise of the future – good for everyone.

  11. I’m with you on your love of peace, though sometimes it is hard to know what will be best when we see naked aggression against us. That green experiment sounds very interesting. Still, it’s an experiment. We don’t know what all the side effects will be like. I remember the green revolution in agriculture in the 60s, and there were some unexpected negative side effects that we only understood later. Let’s hope for the best.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.