You can’t have it all.
If you live in a warm country, where it is dry almost every day of the year, you can’t expect such magnificent trees.
Some prickly bushes, maybe. But this lush greenery everywhere you glance, this endless variety of colours... you can only get if you are prepared to put up with miserable rainy days for most of the year.
Trees here are amazing. And right now, they are in their prime. Magnolias, cherries and apricots...stunning.
But not all of it is due to the miserable rain. Brits look after their plants.
I already talked about their obsession with nature. The trees in this country get looked after much better than people. Take my job. If they want to get rid of a person, it is a lot easier, let me tell you. But the trees are very hard to chuck away.
My boss spent over 6 months trying to get one old tree removed in our yard at work. We were expanding, and needed a new wing added to our building. The old tree was in the way. But it was protected. One of my most favourite colleagues was also getting old, but was not as well protected as the tree. So when they decided it was time for him to retire, he had to go. It was a bit more complicated to retire the old tree. We almost had to build around it.
I also knew this very wealthy guy who recently moved to a rich area of NW London and decided to buy a house. In his garden, there was a tree that, according to the rich guy, looked pretty dead. He was hoping to have it removed; however he could not just take it out. He had to call two independent commissions, and both of them decided the tree was not quite dead yet. The fact that the guy was ludicrously rich and happy to pay as much as was needed did not help. The fact that it was, in theory, his garden did not get him any further either.
But back home, things are much simpler.
I grew up in a building surrounded by parks. The trees there were not as green and not as tall as the ones I see here. But they were still lovely old trees. And now, so many of them are gone. It is really not a big deal back home, you see. Who cares about trees? They chop the old ones down and plant new ones- I don’t quite get the logic behind it, but there must be some. Or, they invest in shiny acrylic ones that light up at night. Sty-lish. No trees, no shade in the summer heat. Just big empty squares, steps and pretty fountains with lights.
I feel bad for one particular tree I loved when I lived in Baku. A very large Cupressus.
It was there all my life, in the middle of a large park. As a child, I loved running up to it as fast as I could, look up and feel as if it was falling on top of me. It also had large gaps in its base; and when we were older, we would hide in there or build a pretend house.
Now, every time I go back, I just get to stare at the locked gates. No more park, no more trees. Just some ugly cold buildings inside.