The good rain, I am sure, will result in earlier and more beautiful leaves. Here the first leaves of a Spanish Chestnut against the thick carpet of last season’s leaves.

This is a Horse Chestnut, larger than life-size. The five-fingered compound leaves quickly turn green. I am hoping this tree will flower for the first time this summer – it must now be over 12 years old…


Evergreens they might be, but even the pines display a freshness at this season as their growth buds elongate.

The Swamp Cypresses, till recently still delighting us with their cinnamon autumnal shades, are showing a shimmering green haze.

And the mosses which languished during the dry months have plumped up.

Some Japanese Maples are dressed and ready – others are still quite naked.

My favourite Japanese Maple with the red young leaves is glowing expectantly, with young leaves emerging like butterflies into the spring air.

But perhaps the Liquidamber formosanas best illustrate the fresh greens which we so desperately crave!



  1. Jack, I’m getting caught up on your recent blog posts. I hope you get blooms on your horse chestnut. I remember arriving in Paris in spring of 2003, at a time when there was still snow on the ground in my Maine garden, to find chestnut trees in bloom. It was a glorious sight.

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