About Us



Mike's Blog




The Garden

Contact Us


Mike's Blog - Day 229

Another birch for you today, there is a whole band of these growing along our eastern boundary, you can see some from the lawn by the greenhouse. It's Betula papyrifera, the Paper or Canoe Birch.

It grows mostly in the far northern United States and Canada.  The bark peels off readily and is used by the indigenous people there to make containers, canoes and wigwams.

I used to think they hollowed out the trunks to make the canoe, but it is the peeling bark which is used. These canoes are a favourite of Ray Mears. There is a youtube video here of him making one:


I have seen this before years ago but must watch it again. It looks like we will have the time.

It’s quite similar to our native birch, but as you can see its leaf is considerably bigger, its probably ultimately a much bigger tree too I would presume.

I went to RHS Harlow Carr yesterday so I will send you a few pictures over the week. For today the return of dogwood! I thought we had finished with these for sure, but then I saw an interesting idea to use them as a low bed edging.

Finally, thanks to Friend of the Garden John for sending in a great picture of a redwing feeding on the creamy yellow berries of his “Joseph Rock” Rowan.