THE MODERN MINT BLOG
What are the best logs for a fire? This poem should tell you more about what wood to look for…
Logs to burn, logs to burn,
Logs to save the coal a turn
Here’s a word to make you wise,
When you hear the woodman’s cries.
Never heed his usual tale,
That he has good logs for sale,
But read these lines and really learn
the proper kind of logs to burn.
OAK logs will warm you well,
If they’re old and dry.
LARCH logs of pine wood smell,
But the sparks will fly.
BEECH logs for Christmas time,
YEW logs heat well.
SCOTCH logs it is a crime
For anyone to sell.
BIRCH logs will burn too fast,
CHESTNUT scarce at all.
HAWTHORN logs are good to last,
If you cut them in the fall.
HOLLY logs will burn like wax
You should burn them green
ELM logs like smouldering flax
No flame to be seen
PEAR logs and APPLE logs,
They will scent your room.
CHERRY logs across the dogs,
Smell like flowers in bloom.
But ASH logs, all smooth and grey,
Burn them green or old;
Buy up all that come your way,
They’re worth their weight in gold.
There you have it – 14 woods with their various properties, Ash logs getting the biggest cheer (four lines of the poem all to themselves! Wow!)
Note too that the fruit trees all get lauded for having a beautiful scent. We also recommend fig as log wood, which runs along the same lines of good fragrance… I wonder if damson, mulberry, medlar and quince are the same?
Why though are beech logs for Christmas time? Googling, we discovered this poem… similar to the one above, but with a little more information about using beech as firewood…
Beechwood fires burn bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year
Store your beech for Christmas time
With new holly laid beside
Chestnuts only good they say
If for years tis stored away
Birch and firewood burn too fast
Blaze too bright and do not last
Flames from larch will shoot up high
Dangerously the sparks will fly
But Ashwood green and Ashwood brown
Are fit for a Queen with a golden crown
Oaken logs, if dry and old
Keep away the winters cold
Poplar gives a bitter smoke
Fills your eyes and makes you choke
Elmwood burns like churchyard mould
Even the very flames burn cold
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread
So it is in Ireland said
Applewood will scent the room
Pears wood smells like a flower in bloom
But Ashwood wet and Ashwood dry
A King may warm his slippers by.
Ash logs get another great review (good enough for the Queen as well as the King!) while the beech is to be burnt with the holly which, as the first poem said, burns fast…
Where else can you learn what you need to about the best logs to use when having a fire? This book by Piers Warren ‘British Native Trees’ should be useful. As should what you learn if you were to become a Tree Warden (like we have for a ward here in Chelmsford.)
If you only want a few logs, you can of course get some here from Amazon…
Or if you live in Essex or London then contact us for our price list and delivery cost – for seasoned logs to keep you warm this winter!
Guanock House needs a trainee topiary artist! Some of you may know it as the first home and garden of designer Arne Maynard, but is now owned and maintained by Michael Coleman and his wife Michelle. They offer meditation workshops and retreats there and it is as beautiful a house and garden as you could wish to visit. They called me in last Autumn to help shape up some of the topiary as it was all getting out of hand, but what it really needs is someone with a steady hand and lots of patience to take over the clipping …
Here are some photos of work I have been doing at the garden of Charlotte Molesworth in Kent. Snow and ice brings out the depth of the different planes and angles carved into the boxwood. A garden has to look beautiful in winter – and topiary (green architecture) helps do that! For more topiary pictures, click here.
I am an experienced teacher of topiary and pruning, running workshops in the topiary garden of Charlotte Molesworth in Kent, as well as for The English Gardening School and The European Boxwood And Topiary Society. So if you are a keen gardener, a garden club, a group of friends who want to know more or even an absolute beginner who has been bitten by the gardening bug, then do contact me about what you might like to learn. What a laugh we are having in this workshop session I ran for a group of friends in Essex… Many people employ …