There is a sycamore tree in my front garden. I feel rather ambivalent towards it. I don’t really like it. It casts shade across the garden and the house but it is a tree and I try not to cut down trees unless they are causing a problem. Every year it produces thousands of helicopter seeds which flutter down to the ground, clogging the pathways and gutters. They are rather beautiful. One year I thought of using them as Christmas decorations, and painted them silver and green and hung them round the house. It didn’t really work and I couldn’t recycle them once they were covered in paint. So I stopped painting them and now they go straight in the garden waste recycling bin. But every year, several hundred make their way into the soil and appear in the spring as tiny seedlings. I hate to pull them up though I know I must. They are the first signs of spring in my garden. They give me hope.