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This lichen was clinging to an ancient apple tree on the Trevarno Estate in Cornwall (yes, I’m aware that I’ve banged on about this lovely garden before). It was in the walled garden – currently being restored to its former glory, and including a few remnants of the old Victorian kitchen garden it once was.

Lichen is a thing of total, wonder-inducing beauty if you look at it closely. It appears on older trees and lots of people think it’s doing damage – in fact it’s just a sign that conditions are perfect, which means damp and a little shady with a nice bit of roughened wood to cling on to. Those little tufts of hairy grey moss just add to the general sense of other-worldliness, don’t you think? It could be a scene from the surface of the moon.

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