Click on photos to EnlargeWhile the weatherman says "more rain forecast", the garden does 'the happy dance'. One tree, in particular, shines for me this time of year, with it's almost primal leaves unfurling from enormous buds at the end of long slim smooth limbs. She is, Aesculus x carnea 'Briotti'; the Red Horse Chestnut.
Ours is about eleven years old and was first planted in full sun, however, it surely didn't like that as the leaves scorched the first two summers. So, we moved it, with fingers crossed, to the dappled shade side of the lot and except for a haircut during Hurricane Juan, she has continued to thrive. Last year though, there was bark damage I attributed to a bobcat, but that seems to have healed now to some degree. Referring to my garden books, it looks as if we were wise to move 'Briotti', and our quick draining acid soil is preferred above others. We never get any conkers off it, as the squirrels have them straight away before they can even form into hard nuts...still, I wouldn't be without it and hope it lives a nice long life.
The leaves are now unfurling.........
.........forming it's flowers, each in it's own orchestrated, beautiful way.
Soon, 'Briotti' will be a sea of bloom, covered in bees, back dropped by pine, maple and spruce. If you have room for this Chestnut, I would highly recommend it.