I joined a tour of the garden at 2 p.m. which was an excellent idea. Just wandering around by the garden is pleasant, but there's so much more that you see with an expert guide. Our guide was an older bloke called Dave and his enjoyment of the garden really shone through. He seemed to know almost every tree in the garden and greeted them as old friends, remembering when they were first planted, and admiring how tall they'd grown.
He showed us trees on a similar theme, so by the end of the work we could recognise trees of a 'fastigiata' form (upright and straight). We knew all about 'lenticels' which are the little lines on trunks - particularly on trees like birch - which allow the tree to breathe. We could spot the graft line, since most of the rarer trees are grafted onto sturdier stock.
A very educational hour, but also lovely to stop and actually study the beautiful bark which we normally just walk past.