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Mike's Blog - Day 38

Lovely native Bird cherry, Prunus padus, in flower by the Vessels of Life sculpture...

... and in close-up:

Another tree right next to the Vessels of Life sculpture is a snake bark maple, and it was the fact that we had trees with these animal links, particularly the snake bark maple, that were the deciding factor to confirm the exact location for the sculpture. We spent a long time wandering round the garden with HRH Ranjitsinh Gaekwad, the Maharaja of Baroda, who had been commission by Northumbria water to design and make it (2008/9). He was very indecisive as to where to put it. It was his wife who finally persuaded him that by these trees were a good place and made the connection.

There is a nice link about it here, when it was new and shiny (it will eventually go verdigris of course):


Also this video of the Maharaja talking about it, and the VC at the time Prof. Chris Higgins:


It doesn’t seem to produce much fruit, but I came across a bizarre reference in Wikipedia about it being the food of choice for an ancient race of bald people!

"According to Herodotus writing about 2500 years ago a strange race of men and women, all bald from birth, who live in what may possibly be the foothills of the Urals, pick the bean-sized fruits of a tree called 'pontic' to make a black juice from, and from the leftover lees of the fruit make a cake-like dish, this juice and cakes being the main sustenance of the bald peoples."