Friday, 4 November 2011

Parasol Pine

I planted this Parasol pine, pinus pinea, exactly five years ago in the same spot where I lost a great Walnut tree which had blown down following a nasty little Autumn storm that avoided the weather forecaster's gaze, intensified in the Bay of Biscay and whipped across southern France.

It's grown quickly, much swifter than I thought it would, keeping a good, by and large, well rounded shape.

This is a tree that suits the landscape here, you see them all over southern France and across into Italy and many other parts of Europe, so when I was deliberating as to what to plant on either side of the path leading to the river, It made total sense that I plumped for another four of them. They are pretty small, but dug in with a bit of bone meal, I'm hoping they'll establish quite quickly.

As an extra precaution against wind rock, I've hammered in stakes which face the direction of the prevailing wind, so this should keep things stable over the coming Winter.

Just as a note, this is the tree that yields pinenuts often found in mediterranean cooking. It takes many years however, before it is mature enough to develop the edible seed, so I may be waiting some time before my first harvest!


  1. Love those pines, though I associated them with Italy. Did you finish the kitchen?

  2. Hi James, the kitchen is still a work in progress. I've just finished re-making the hearth from re-claimed old clay bricks. Takes hours chiseling off the old mortar and wire brushing each brick clean. I'm about to shoot out and try to find a wood burner that'll fit the space.

  3. Love to eat pine nuts! That's a great shape on the tree and I'd never known the name. Hope all of the others grow well for you.

    We'll be based in Antibes 28 March; going to Paris on 4 April. Wish we could travel in May or June for the Dordogne weather.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  4. How lovely to imagine your harvesting pine nuts years down the path.

  5. Hm, happy memories of smashing the pine nut shells (in Cape Town) open with a stone to get at the nut inside. Good to know you have something to look forward to!

  6. What a great tree. They'll look wonderful along your path as they grow! Yesterday I noticed giant bags of pine nuts at Costco. I remember my grandma used to harvest them from Ponderosa pine cones and convince us grandkids to eat them. We weren't impressed, though I've enjoyed pine nuts (presumably from parasol pines) in salads since then.

  7. I have always liked them as they look like their hair is standing on end. Fine tree you have Rob.

  8. They really do suit a Mediterranean style garden and make a great architectural statement.

  9. Freda, you're
    going earlier next year. Isn't there a tune called April in Paris?

    Carol, It'll be a good few years down the path.

    Marie, you telling me harvesting them involves work! No. I hoped a gentle tap and that was it.

    Hi VW, Costco, we don't have anything like it here. Last time I visited Costco was a year ago, enormous store in Bristol. Couldn't believe how inexpensive everything was, I filled my boots.

    Hermes I reckon you're pretty much spot on. Hair standing on end.

    Sweetbay thanks. For a tree associated with the mediterranean they're suprisingly hardy.

  10. Great trees Rob - and, as I adore pinenuts, I'm very envious of your potential future crop!

    An avenue of parasol pines will look wonderful and provide some much needed shade on that walk down to the river - great idea!

  11. Beauty in numbers! One is good, several is better!

  12. Hope that the babies settle in well Rob and grow as sturdily as the five year old has done. A fine looking tree but not sure about the name - they look like a parosol that has been blown inside out. Just how long do you expect to wait before you can munch pine nuts?

  13. I loved seeing sights of your beautiful garden. I also love Dordogne, and we regularly drive down for golfing vacations and touring round the beautiful landscapes. We adopted our border collie from a Rocamadour farm !
    I'll be checking on your blog regularly from now on.