Our Balsam poplars are bursting into leaf and bud and the scent of toffee apples and candy floss hang in the air. Makes me think we should encourage Bruno the Torridon chef to create my favourite sweet dish, brandy snaps and cream. The scent of the poplar protects the emerging sticky buds from insect attack. They are fast-growing trees with very fibrous wood, often grown to create timber for matchstick production. The wood is very light and grows tall and straight but unfortunately, its roots are water-seeking and the trees are liable to send up suckers to create havoc through tarmac and our precious lawns. But for those with a sweet tooth and who are fond of scent indulgence, spring is definitely in the air.