Despite a bitterly cold day today, spring is racing ahead and it’s hard to keep up. Some of the Horse Chestnut trees in the village are getting leafy. Now I am looking more at trees in general it is interesting to note how early this tree has come into leaf. It must be one of the earliest.
The newly opening buds are really beautiful. As the feathery, deeply ridged new leaves open up they reveal a tiny new flower spike, each floret tightly curled.
On the drawing board
This bud is only just opening and the protective scales and the outside surfaces of the leaves are still hairy
Watercolour and pencil 6 x 8” approx
This one has opened up quite a bit more. The small leaflets are breaking free.
This one has opened further: pencil and watercolour approx 6 x 8” approx
This twig below has no flower buds, they are only developing into leaves. It’s hard to believe these tiny delicate furled things will develop into the huge shady parasols of the mature trees. For me it’s always that bucolic scene of dozing cattle, swishing tails and chewing cud, sheltering from the sun under its generous spreading boughs. Such a beautiful parkland tree.
Pencil and watercolour sketch 8 x10
Lucy, who is organising the tree following posed the question. “Is it possible to tell before the buds open up which will have flowers and which won’t.”
I have never really thought about it so had another look at the tree today.
What I noticed is that the buds low down or near the trunk are not opening to flower spikes, just leaves. Buds at the end of the outside branches all seem to have flower spikes. Which makes quite a bit of sense. Flowers need to be up and out there, where the pollinators can find them.
The big candelabra flowers spikes will be a challenge to draw!