Alison Jane Harley

- botanical and floral artist -

Time to light the candles

This beautiful horse-chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) is quite majestic. Its big showy candelabra-like panicles have been in bloom for what feels like weeks now and it really does look as if hundreds of candles have been placed upright on the branches of this huge tree. They are quite a sight from a distance due to their size – but looking at them closely you could easily be reminded of ice cream because in each big creamy white panicle there are hundreds of tiny flowers with little dots of red and yellow – reminiscent of the tutti-frutti ice-creams I remember as a child.

I have lovely memories of the children playing with the shiny brown, polished conkers on strings and not so lovely memories of weeding below a tree and being attacked from above before realising that the spiky green missiles being fired at me were in fact the fruit putting in their seasonal appearance.

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