City Trees

May/June 2014

Issue link: https://read.dmtmag.com/i/306909

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5SFFPG.FSJU $PUUPO5SFF ÌÞÊ/Àiià !BOUT FIVE YEARS AGO ) ACCEPTED A COMMISSION TO DESIGN THE LANDSCAPE FOR +INGSTON *AMAICAS FIRST BOUTIQUE BUSINESS HOTEL 4HE 3PANISH #OURT ) HAD SPENT MUCH OF MY CHILDHOOD IN *AMAICA SO THIS WAS A RETURN TO A FAMILIAR PLACE 9ET NOTHING COULD PREPARE ME FOR REDISCOVERING *AMAICAS NAT URAL BEAUTY AND LUSH LANDSCAPES 4HE COUNTRYSIDE IS VERDANT WITH VARIED SHADES OF GREEN AND FAMILIAR SMELLS 4HE SHADES OF BLUE IN THE SEA ARE HYPNOTIC AS THEY INVITE YOU TO STOP DRIV ING AND COME FOR A SWIM ) REMEMBER AS A CHILD WHENEVER WE HAD A LONG HOLIDAY WEEK END MY BROTHER AND ) WOULD GET EXCITED BECAUSE WE WOULD GET TO LEAVE +INGSTON THE CAPITAL WHERE WE LIVED FOR THE hCOUN TRYv WHICH WAS ANYWHERE OUTSIDE OF THE CAPITAL TO OUR FAMILYS SEASIDE VILLA %ACH TIME HEADING OUT THROUGH THE FABLED 4HE #OTTON 4REE #EIBA PENTANDRA 3PANISH 4OWN TO THE NORTH COAST OF *AMAICA WE PASSED A LANDMARK CALLED &ERRY )NN 4HERE ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD WAS THIS HUGE YEAROLD TREE THAT WAS AS WIDE AS IT WAS TALL 4HIS WAS A COTTON TREE #EIBA PENTANDRA KNOWN WORLDWIDE AS KAPOK THAT COLLAPSED MAJESTICALLY IN DUE TO THE ADVENT OF THE MOTOR CAR AND A TWO LANE HIGHWAY THAT IMPRISONED THIS LIVING LANDMARK /NE OF THE REASONS ) LOVE AND ADMIRE THE KAPOK IS FOR ITS WINTER hSNOWFALLv )N WINTERTIME THE DECIDUOUS NATURE OF THE TREE BECOMES EVIDENT AS IT DROPS WHAT SEEMS TO BE MILLIONS OF LEAVES 4HE BARE LIMBS ARE THEN GRACED WITH SMALL GREEN CALYXES THAT REVEAL PALE YELLOW WAXY FLOWERS THAT EMANATE A MILKY ODOR 4HESE FLOWERS ARE NOCTURNAL AND ATTRACT COLONIES OF HELPFUL BATS AS POLLINATORS )N NO TIME SMALL BOATSHAPED PODS APPEAR CONTAINING THE MILLIONS OF LITTLE SEEDS ATTACHED TO ABUN DANT SILKY HAIRS THAT FLOAT EVERY WHICH WAY AND COVER EVERYTHING LIKE SNOW )N URBAN SETTINGS THIS IS NOT ALWAYS APPRECIATED +APOK TREE HAS SO MANY USES THE WOOD BEING LIGHT LIKE BALSA PROVIDED ABORIGINAL PEOPLES WITH WOOD TO MAKE CANOES A TRADITION STILL MAINTAINED BY MANY OF TODAYS FISHERMEN +APOK ALSO PROVIDED THE SILKY COTTON FIBERS TO MAKE HAMMOCKS AND TO FILL PILLOWS CUSHIONS AND MATTRESSESEVEN LIFE VESTS BEFORE THE ADVENT OF SYNTHETIC MATERIAL )T IS A GREAT SOURCE OF >«ÊV>ÊÀi>VÊ£ÓäÊviiÌÊÎÇÊ®ÊÊi}Ì°Ê*ÌÃÊLÞÊ>ÀÊ ÀiÜÊ>ÀÌ /iÊÃii`«`ÃÊvÊÌiÊ>«ÊÌÀiiÊ

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