By JanetMayes

Project 365 day 97: the symmetry of sycamore

Some reject sycamores as weeds, but I'm fond of them. I grew up in a house with a large and beautifully shaped sycamore in the front garden, a self-seeded sapling which grew and grew until, in my memory at least, it was taller than the house. In my teens I took its side as my father argued that it was becoming too large, shading too much of the garden and blocking the (unexceptional) view. Eventually, when I was away at university, its roots toppled the red brick garden wall onto the pavement, fortunately without causing injuries, and it was cut down, leaving a gaping hole which shocked me each time I returned home for years. 

Now we have a large sycamore in the hedgerow beside our front gateway. It has been cut back and its height reduced, possibly several times, before our arrival, spoiling its shape. Our neighbour across the road complains that it obstructs his view of the valley. Its seeds germinate readily in the front garden and hedgerow, sending up lots of spindly saplings in all the wrong places. Most would see it as a nuisance; but every spring I am captivated by the beautiful burnished symmetry of its new growth, leaves unfolding in graduated pleats which slowly smooth as copper turns to green. 

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