This may seem a strange title for a post but I had decided to write a post about my favourite flowering tree, the Horse Chestnut but then I came across a beautiful rustic ancient fence made from the wood of a chestnut tree.
Our native chestnuts come with two flower colours white or red. The white is more common and flowers a little earlier than the red.
The first photo shows chestnuts in parkland around the gardens of Cerney House.
The white flowers look particularly good against a blue sky on an early summer’s day. It shows up the pastel shades in the centre, yellow and orange.
The red, or perhaps pink may be a better description, coloured flowers are very dramatic. We found this specimen along the driveway to Bluebell Cottage Gardens and Nursery in Cheshire.
In our own garden we grow a miniature chestnut.
It is small enough to grow in a mixed border where its flowers can mix in with Alliums and the last of the Tulips and its leaves contrast strongly with the grass stems we grow alongside it.
You can see from the photos that it looks a very different colour depending whether you are looking at it into the sun or with the sun behind you. It also boasts beautifully textured ribbed leaves. The bees love the flowers!
At Croome Park we came across the most beautiful fence, created from the wood of chestnuts. The wood of chestnuts lasts for centuries without any care gradually taking on the most delicate silvery grey colour.
On a recent visit to a woodland garden in Powis we came across this little shrub tucked away in the shade of tall trees. We guessed it was another Chestnut. It had beautiful leaves with dark central veining. Can anyone shed light on this?
Our native chestnuts are essential elements of our hedgerows but have recently been under threat from a disease that turns their leaves prematurely yellow and then drop early. They seem to be fighting back so fingers crossed. Our countryside wouldn’t be the same without them.