Manicured trees are very popular here.
Some of them look like normal trees but just rather unusually symmetrical and a little too picture perfect for nature to have done.
Others are like the toy poodle of the garden world. All bauble-like round tufts of foliage on bare branches.
One thing they all have in common is how much time, effort and money goes into the upkeep.
Now is the season for pruning and small teams (usually just 2-3) of old men (it's a traditional art so the gardeners tend to be older guys) with their two and three legged ladders, their aprons, their little scissors and bigger shears, their little brushes for shaking down the prunings and their large plastic sheets for ease of cleaning up.
The trees are usually about roof height or a little taller.
But this time we were stuck at the traffic lights watching a team working on this huge tree:
Notice the ladders are tied back with ropes so they don't touch the tree at all?
I'm sure it's all safe and stable and all but that's not my idea of fun for sure!!
I was trying to think how you'd describe this job. I mean gardener seems far too simple. They're not really arbourists as their job has a narrower scope... and it's quite an artistic endeavour getting the shape and balance jussssstttt right.
So I came up with my own word- arbourartists!