It is time for an up-date on the Horse Chestnut, Aesculus hippocastrum which I am looking at each month, for the Tree Following meme hosted by Lucy Corrander at Looseandleafy blog.
As I have said before, it is an Aesculus and not actually a Chestnut which is Castanea. It has nothing to do with horses, apart from having a horse shoe- like scar where last year’s leaves have fallen off.
The buds are opening up now to reveal the crumpled leaves and the flower within.
The other Aesculus tree which is close by, is not so far on and the buds have yet to open properly. I don’t know why there is a difference between the two trees growing so close together.
Next month the tree will be at its best and I hope to be able to show you the beautiful flowers or candles as they are called.
Whilst walking down the garden to photograph the Horse Chestnut tree, my eye was caught by the carpets of Pulmonaria or Lungwort.
As both Horse Chestnuts and Lungworts were thought to cure chest complaints; the first in people, the second in horses, I thought I would combine the two in on post. OK, it is a tenuous link but I can’t find many myths or literary references about the Aesculus tree so now and then I will have to digress, or scrape the barrel to find a link. Otherwise the posts will be like a children’s reading book. HERE IS THE TREE. LOOK. SEE THE LEAVES. CAN YOU SEE THE LEAVES? THE LEAVES ARE ON THE TREE.
Like many people I started off with named varieties of Pulmonarias but they are notoriously promiscuous and seed round in all different colours. For this reason there are perhaps too many named varieties, all looking very similar. I like the early- flowering Pulmonaria rubra with brick-red flowers. I usually carefully remove the leaves of the Epimediums so that the flowers show up but I have left it a bit late on this one growing in front of the Pulmonaria.
‘Rubra’ has plain leaves but you can get one with heavily spotted leaves and red flowers called Pulmonaria saccharata ‘Leopard’. I think it looks good matching the red bricks of my wall.
I also enjoy the beautifully, distinctive white one called Pulmonaria ‘Sissinghurst White’.
The second picture was taken last year with the Narcissus ‘Mount Hood ‘ in full bloom, they are not quite out yet.
I also love the pure blue Pulmonaria with plain green leaves called Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’
The great think about Pulmonarias is how they look so good with other Spring flowers. I love this next one growing with dwarf tulips.
They also look good with small yellow daffodils. I love it with the spidery heads of ‘Rip Van Winkle’.
But at the moment I am really thrilled with the picture created by the Pulmonaria growing with Fritillaria verticillata.
So that is my ‘chesty’ post today combining a majestic tree with the quite humble, but very pretty Spring flowers, which our forebears relied on to cure their nasty coughs.
Pleas visit Lucy at LooseandLeafy to see other Tree Following posts.