Thomas Pakenham - The Company of Trees - Orion Publishing Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9780297866251
    • Publication date:10 Sep 2015

The Company of Trees

A Year in a Lifetime’s Quest

By Thomas Pakenham

  • Paperback
  • £12.99

Acclaimed historian and bestselling author Thomas Pakenham shares his profound love of trees and reverence for nature, rooted in the family estate of Tullynally in Ireland.

'The master. Puts all other modern tree-writers in the shade' John Lewis-Stempel, author of Meadowland

Thomas Pakenham is an indefatigable champion of trees. In The Company of Trees he recounts his personal quest to establish a large arboretum on the family estate, Tullynally in Ireland; his forays to other tree-filled parks and plantations; his often hazardous seed-hunting expeditions; and his efforts to preserve magnificent old trees and historic woodlands.

Whether writing about the terrible storms breaking the backs of hundred-year-old trees or a fire in the peat bog on Tullynally which threatens to spread to the main commercial spruce-woods, his fear of climate change and disease, or the sturdy young saplings giving him hope for the future, his book is never less than enthralling.

Biographical Notes

Thomas Pakenham is the author of the critically acclaimed books The Year of Liberty, The Boer War and The Scramble for Africa. He is also the author and photographer of the bestselling Meetings with Remarkable Trees, Remarkable Trees of the World and In Search of Remarkable Trees: On Safari in Southern Africa. He lives in Ireland, and is chairman of the Irish Tree Society.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781474606790
  • Publication date: 19 Oct 2017
  • Page count: 256
  • Imprint: W&N

The more you read of the various Earls' attempts to create beautiful views across their parkland, the more you realise they struggle with the same problems the rest of us face when designing our own
little gardens. The only difference is that they're working on a massive scale, and thinking in centuries instead of years ... Raising all his own saplings from seed, he comes across like a real-life version of P. G. Wodehouse's amiable (if unworldly) Lord Emsworth, pottering about with his seed trays and compost in his ancestral kitchen. But he engages fully with the 21st-century threat of global warming, as well as the four new diseases threatening our trees: acute oak decline, sudden oak death, ash dieback and pseudomonas syringae - a lethal canker of horse chestnuts that has infected 49 per cent of the tree species in England, according to a recent survey

— Helen Brown, DAILY MAIL
The Company of Trees: A Year in a Lifetime's Quest, brings readers along a journey from the 1,500 acres of farm and parkland of the family estate at Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath, to planthunting expeditions in Asia and South America, and more ... told in monthly chapters that will charm a readership beyond those who don't need to Google 'arboretum' for a definition. There is a sense of adventure in travel diary revelations where the energetic Eighth Lord Longford (though he doesn't use that inherited title) tells of shinning up rocky banks near the foothills of the Himalayas and nearly breaking an ankle in the quest for seeds. He being in his 80th year, mind ... Good-humoured revelations of triumphs that sometimes end in failure contribute to an engaging openness — Valerie Shanley, IRISH MAIL ON SUNDAY
At Tullynally, his estate in Ireland. Thomas Pakenham is growing his own woodland. In this lively diary of his travels to the Himalayas and Patagonia in search of seeds, and his tours of the thriving plantations where he plants and preserves trees, he gives seasoned advice on garden design and landscaping, and worries about the diseases that have devastated ashes, elms, oaks and chestnuts — SAGA magazine
Historians make very good tree people because they respect both the past, with its particular and changing atmospheres, as well as posterity. After all, most trees span more than one human lifetime, and the story of trees has been part of the story of the land and even the people. And historians can salt the worthy fare of plant descriptions with tales of plant hunters and gardeners from the past. Pakenham's writing is brisk, clearly personal and pleasantly epigrammatic ... Readers should finish this book with a lively sense of the importance and allure of trees, even if they have never so much as planted an acorn — Ursula Buchan, THE SPECTATOR
Few have ever indulged their inclinations on a grander scale than Thomas Pakenham, whose passion is for trees. This is an exuberant tale of greed and gratified desire by a romantic who, for 50 years and more, has been planting trees by the thousand on his family estate at Tullynally in Westmeath. Pakenham is currently in his 82nd year, and buying magnolias like a madman "in what the Germans call Torschlusspanik" (last-minute or door-closing panic) ... Trees are, as this book points out, "the biggest living things in these islands, taller than most buildings, older than many ancient monuments", and, like the Williamses at Caerhays and the Holfords of Westonbirt, the planting Pakenhams have done them proud in person and in print — Hilary Spurling, THE GUARDIAN
Botanical history and travel are two of the underlying elements of this absorbing year in the life of tree-loving Thomas Pakenham. Eloquently written as a diary and illustrated with an array of colour photographs, this informative and entertaining read describes the arboretum and garden areas he is creating on the family estate in Ireland. The book reveals his observations, experiences and lessons learned — COUNTRYSIDE
Thomas Pakenham could convert a property developer into a tree-hugger ... If The Company of Trees is a diary, it is also a journey - into the author's life and Tullynally's past. The book's photographs are as beautiful and glossy as conkers; anecdote and information fall like autumn mast ... I closed the book and went to look at my own trees. Thanks to the joyful hours spent in its author's company, I saw them anew. His book is a plum among autumn's publishing fruits — John Lewis-Stempel, COUNTRY LIFE
Gardeners who love beauty, not arboreal ethnicity, now have an eloquent ally ... The Company of Trees is beautifully illustrated with his own excellent colour photos... it tells a story which has touching continuity across generations — Robin Lane-Fox, FINANCIAL TIMES
The book is written as a journal in a tone so natural you feel as if you're in his study at Tullynally as the wind soughs through the woods. His hard-won knowledge garnered over a lifetime of seed-collecting, planting and observation is displayed lightly so you absorb masses of information without ever feeling like you're at a dendrology conference. It's impossible not to feel affection for a man nearing 80 who not only plants a copse of rare Magnolia campellii Alba Group from seed, but collects that seed himself from a mountainside in Sikkim, India ... Pakenham's optimism and concern for future generations, both trees and people, is infectious. The world's trees could not have a more compelling advocate — Caroline Beck, GARDENS ILLUSTRATED
The Company of Trees: A Lifetime's Quest is by one of the world's most famous tree huggers, octogenarian Thomas Pakenham of Tullynally Castle. It tells the story of his collection of remarkable trees in Co. Westmeath, and also shares gems such as discovering a rare blue poppy in Tibet by sitting on it, and getting lost at nightfall in his own woods only to be saved by a search party hours later — THE SUNDAY TIMES IRELAND
Thomas Pakenham, the champion of trees, narrates a story of exploration and discovery, of life-cycles longer than our own in this lavishly illustrated book ... An enthralling book by a passionate writer, educator and entertainer — WELSH BORDER LIFE
Thomas Pakenham's endlessly fascinating life and garden is the subject of The Company of Trees in which he continues the story of one man's love for all things arboreal begun in his 2002 bestseller, Meetings with Remarkable Trees. In this latest work we find him at home in Tullynally, where he has established an important arboretum, recalling his diverse personal quests for plants and seeds found on his far-flung travels ... and as all journeys begin with one small step, so do many plants grow from one small seed. Their stories follow fast and furious — David Wheeler, HORTUS
Orion

Night Runners

Richard Crompton
Authors:
Richard Crompton
Orion

War Storm

Victoria Aveyard
Authors:
Victoria Aveyard

Mare has been betrayed for the last time...The #1 New York Times bestselling Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard comes to a stunning conclusion in this fourth and final book.

W&N

Waiting for the Albino Dunnock

Rosamond Richardson
Authors:
Rosamond Richardson

'A beautiful book' Tim Birkhead, author of Bird Sense'A glorious, beautifully written pilgrimage into the soaring world of birds' Bel Mooney, Daily MailWritten by a beginner-birdwatcher with the freshness and passion of a convert, Waiting for the Albino Dunnock explores the world of birds through the seasons of a single year. It describes encounters with particular birds in the landscapes of East Anglia where the author is rooted. Occasional journeys farther afield take the reader to truly wild places in the Outer Hebrides and Eastern Europe. Yet the ordinary experience of birdwatching is also far more than just that. The beauty of birds has the power to change lives, as it did the author's, and as in the case of the all-but-legendary snow leopard, it is more about the search than the result.Personal and elegiac in tone, the writing is an unusual combination of prose poems based on the actual experience of seeing a specific bird for the first time, woven with elements of science and wisdom traditions, ornithology (and its punning counterpart ornitheology), mythology and philosophy, taxonomy and history, literature and folklore, conveying the wider picture of what it means to be human in relationship to nature. Waiting for the Albino Dunnock explores the degree to which wildness is embedded in the human psyche and how beauty is central to our mental and emotional wellbeing, while highlighting the careless damage we are inflicting on the natural world.

Orion

My Mad Dad

Robyn Hollingworth
Authors:
Robyn Hollingworth
Orion

The Lido

Libby Page
Authors:
Libby Page

'THE LIDO is a joyous and uplifting debut - a testament to kindness and friendship and all those values society must hold dear' SARAH WINMAN, author of When God Was a Rabbit and Tin ManMeet Rosemary, 86, and Kate, 26: dreamers, campaigners, outdoor swimmers...Rosemary has lived in Brixton all her life. But now everything she knows is changing - the library where she used to work has closed, the family fruit and veg shop has become a trendy bar, and her beloved husband George is gone.Kate has just moved and feels alone in a city that is too big for her. She's at the bottom rung of her career as a journalist on a local paper, and is determined to make something of it. So when the local lido is threatened with closure, Kate knows this story could be her chance to shine. And Rosemary knows it is the end of everything for her. Together they are determined to make a stand, to show that the pool is more than just a place to swim - it is the heart of the community. Together they will show the importance of friendship, the value of community, and how ordinary people can protect the things they love.

Orion

Time is a Killer

Michel Bussi
Authors:
Michel Bussi

It is summer 1989 and fifteen-year-old Clotilde is on holiday with her parents in Corsica. On a twisty mountain road, their car comes off at a curve and plunges into a ravine. Only Clotilde survives.Twenty-seven years later, she returns to Corsica with her husband and their sulky teenage daughter. Clotilde wants the trip to do two things - to help exorcise her past, and to build a bridge between her and her daughter. But in the very place where she spent that summer all those years ago, she receives a letter. From her mother. As if she were still alive.As fragments of memory come back, Clotilde begins to question the past. And yet it all seems impossible - she saw the corpses of her mother, her father, her brother. She has lived with their ghosts. But then who sent this letter - and why?

Orion

The Lost

Mari Hannah
Authors:
Mari Hannah

The gripping first novel in the exciting new Stone and Oliver series by award-winning author, Mari Hannah.'Nobody understands the many faces of cops better than Mari Hannah.' Val McDermid'Mari Hannah writes with a sharp eye and a dark heart.' Peter James'He was her child. The only one she'd ever have. It would kill her to learn that he was missing.'Alex arrives home from holiday to find that her ten-year-old son Daniel has disappeared.It's the first case together for Northumbria CID officers David Stone and Frankie Oliver. Stone has returned to his roots with fifteen years' experience in the Met, whereas Oliver is local, a third generation copper with a lot to prove, and a secret that's holding her back.But as the investigation unfolds, they realise the family's betrayal goes deeper than anyone suspected. This isn't just a missing persons case. Stone and Oliver are hunting a killer. 'A blistering start to Hannah's new detective series, The Lost pitches her fearless coppers into a case which will explode one family's seemingly perfect life. Mari Hannah is a consummate storyteller and her books genuine must reads for any serious crime fan.' Eva Dolan

Gollancz

Zero Day

Ezekiel Boone
Authors:
Ezekiel Boone

The world is on the brink of apocalypse. Zero Day has come.The only thing more terrifying than millions of spiders is the realization that those spiders work as one. But among the government, there is dissent: do we try to kill all of the spiders, or do we gamble on Professor Guyer's theory that we need to kill only the queens?For President Stephanie Pilgrim, it's an easy answer. She's gone as far as she can-more than two dozen American cities hit with tactical nukes, the country torn asunder - and the only answer is to believe in Professor Guyer. Unfortunately, Ben Broussard and the military men who follow him don't agree, and Pilgrim, Guyer, and the loyal members of the government have to flee, leaving the question: what can be more dangerous, the spiders or ourselves?

W&N

The Reading Cure

Laura Freeman
Authors:
Laura Freeman

At the age of fourteen, Laura Freeman was diagnosed with anorexia. She had seized the one aspect of her life that she seemed able to control, and struck different foods from her diet one by one until she was starving. But even at her lowest point, the one appetite she never lost was her love of reading.As Laura battled her anorexia, she gradually re-discovered how to enjoy food - and life more broadly - through literature. Plum puddings and pottles of fruit in Dickens gave her courage to try new dishes; the wounded Robert Graves' appreciation of a pair of greengages changed the way she thought about plenty and choice; Virginia Woolf's painterly descriptions of bread, blackberries and biscuits were infinitely tempting. Book by book, meal by meal, Laura developed an appetite and discovered an entire library of reasons to live.The Reading Cure is a beautiful, inspiring account of hunger and happiness, about addiction, obsession and recovery, and about the way literature and food can restore appetite and renew hope.

Gateway

Dreams Must Explain Themselves and Other Essays 1972-2004

Ursula K. LeGuin
Authors:
Ursula K. LeGuin
Seven Dials

Success Affirmations

Jack Canfield
Authors:
Jack Canfield
W&N

Goodbye Europe

Various
Authors:
Various
Gollancz

Oathbringer

Brandon Sanderson
Authors:
Brandon Sanderson
Orion

Two Kinds of Truth

Michael Connelly
Authors:
Michael Connelly
Orion

The Best of Matt 2017

Matt Pritchett
Authors:
Matt Pritchett
Orion

Kings of America

R.J. Ellory
Authors:
R.J. Ellory
W&N

My Father's Wake

Kevin Toolis
Authors:
Kevin Toolis

Death is a whisper in the Anglo-Saxon world. But on a remote island, off the coast of County Mayo, death has a louder voice. Along with reports of incoming Atlantic storms, the local radio station runs a thrice-daily roll-call of the recently departed. The islanders have no fear of death. They go in great numbers, often with young children, to wake with their dead. They keep vigil through the night with the corpse and share in the sorrow of the bereaved. They bear the burden of the coffin on their shoulders and dig the grave with their own hands. The living and the dead remain bound together in the Irish Wake - the oldest rite of humanity.For twenty years writer and filmmaker Kevin Toolis hunted death in famine, war and plague across the world before finding the answer to his quest on the island of his forebears. In this beautifully written and highly original memoir, he gives an intimate, eye-witness account of the death and wake of his father, and explores the wider history of the Irish Wake. With an uplifting, positive message at its heart, My Father's Wake celebrates the spiritual depth of the Irish Wake and shows how we too can find a better way to deal with our mortality, by living and loving in the acceptance of death.

W&N

The Child Finder

Rene Denfeld
Authors:
Rene Denfeld

'A darkly luminous story of resilience and the deeply human instinct for survival, for love. Blending the magical thinking of childhood, of fairy tales, dreams, memories and nightmares, The Child Finder is a terrifying and ultimately uplifting novel that demands to be consumed and then once inside you - lingers...' A.M. Homes, author of MAY WE BE FORGIVENNaomi Cottle finds missing children. When the police have given up their search and an investigation stalls, families call her. She possesses a rare, intuitive sense, born out of her own experience, that allows her to succeed when others have failed. Young Madison Culver has been missing for three years. She vanished on a family trip to the mountainous forests of Oregon, where they'd gone to cut down a tree for Christmas. Soon after she disappeared, blizzards swept the region and the authorities presumed she died from exposure. But Naomi knows that Madison isn't dead. As she relentlessly pursues the truth behind Madison's disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce defences that have protected her for so long. If she finds this child, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?

Orion

Land & Sea

Alexandra Dudley
Authors:
Alexandra Dudley
W&N

Watling Street

John Higgs
Authors:
John Higgs

A journey along one of Britain's oldest roads, from Dover to Anglesey, in search of the hidden history that makes us who we are today.Long ago a path was created by the passage of feet tramping through endless forests. Gradually that path became a track, and the track became a road. It connected the White Cliffs of Dover to the Druid groves of the Welsh island of Anglesey, across a land that was first called Albion then Britain, Mercia and eventually England and Wales. Armies from Rome arrived and straightened this 444 kilometres of meandering track, which in the Dark Ages gained the name Watling Street. Today, this ancient road goes by many different names: the A2, the A5 and the M6 Toll. It is a palimpsest that is always being rewritten.Watling Street is a road of witches and ghosts, of queens and highwaymen, of history and myth, of Chaucer, Dickens and James Bond. Along this route Boudicca met her end, the Battle of Bosworth changed royal history, Bletchley Park code breakers cracked Nazi transmissions and Capability Brown remodelled the English landscape. The myriad people who use this road every day might think it unremarkable, but, as John Higgs shows, it hides its secrets in plain sight. Watling Street is not just the story of a route across our island, but an acutely observed, unexpected exploration of Britain and who we are today, told with wit and flair, and an unerring eye for the curious and surprising.