I think that Laburnums have been particularly lovely this year, and it’s a shame that not more of them are being planted nowadays. Yes, they are poisonous, but so are many other ornamentals that we grow, and there are gardens where they could find a place and do no harm.
Strangely, they are apparently common as hedging in certain parts of Wales. No one is at all sure why farmers, 150 years ago, would make field hedges of trees that are not only poisonous to people, but also to all farm stock. It’s called the Cardiganshire Laburnum Mystery… Even more mysteriously, farm animals don’t seem to be harmed.
One of our class members sent the first photograph – she, too, thought that her tree was looking particularly full of flower. The second photograph is mine.
You might say that those small branches on the left side of the trunk that overhang the drive should be pruned off. Perhaps they should. But, in the fork just above the main trunk, there is a bird box that has been used for years by blue tits. And they use those small branches as perches when coming and going from the nest, to check whether there are predators. So, the branches stay, and the rest of us have to negotiate the drive without hitting them!