Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tiny apples replace the blossom and a pink chestnut

This a few weeks ago ....

Has now turned to this. Unbelievable .... to me at any rate.

The blossoms are all fallen and the apples are starting to swell. Over in Bukhara where I was a few years ago they start eating the apples when they are still almost this tiny. Surprisingly they are quite sweet and nice. Someone from our village was going to Uzbekistan on a mission to look at their apple trees but it fell through. The country and the people are lovely but the politics is very nasty indeed.

Who dyed this chestnut pink?
In contrast with the normal horse chestnut with its white flowering candles, you find occasional trees with pink blossom. There is one on our village green planted to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth (the present one!) It was donated by the bakers who used to keep the shop and is about 55 years old now. These trees are not a real chestnut but are a cross between the American red buckeye and normal horse chestnut.

The blossom is really good this year. And at fifty years old our tree is getting towards being one of the oldest around. The buckeye is more like a bush than a tree and so these hybrids don't grow very big or live very long.

This is a close up of the flowers to compare with the white ones shown a few days ago. The actual red-buckeye flowers are bright crimson as you can see by following the second link below.

And here are the finished flowers, spread across the green in a pink carpet.

Here's a link to more about the pink chestnut.
And here's a lovely one for the red buckeye

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