On Christmas Day we had a small gallivant which came to rest under the cool, green, shady trees of Cranmer Square. For most of the time we were the sole visitors there. Cranmer Square is one of the four founding squares of the city, none of which are particularly square in shape. It was originally the heart of an educational precinct but now the only school remaining on its perimeter is The Cathedral Grammar School. Other than the surrounding buildings, some of which have been lost to the earthquakes, Cranmer Square is much the same as it always has been; a pleasing and gentle exercise in geometry and greenery. In days gone by, I have usually been in too great a hurry to look closely at Cranmer Square, but, with the luxury of a leisurely Christmas Day, we were able to spend some quality time together, most especially with the trees. What wonderful companions they are. Serene, welcoming, and willing listeners to our words, both silent and spoken. And they, in turn, share their stories in their gracious ageing limbs, if we but care to listen and look.
I don’t know how old these trees are but I have seen their younger selves in a photo dated 1919. The Square, itself, was established in the 1860s. I do know the trees are old enough and precious enough to have earned the status of ‘protected.’ They wear their ages with dignity and calm.
English Ash (Fraxinus excelsior)
Oriental Plane (Platanus orientalis) (x13)
London Plane (Platanus x acerifolia) (x 6)
Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)
English Oak (Quercus robur) (x8)
Common Lime (Tilia x europea)