Documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

TREE FOLLOWING - LINK BOX FOR JUNE 2015


The good thing about old and tatty horse chestnut candles is that they'll result in conkers later in the year; and seriously - is there much in nature more satisfying than a shiny conker?

When I was little, as well as having conker fights (I could never make head or tail of the rules but I liked the challenge of skewering them without sticking a screwdriver through my hand and swinging them round on strings) I'd cut them in half to make little cups for my dolls. I hated dolls but they provided an excuse for hacking away and getting my fingers stained. (The word 'half' there is used loosely. 'Chipped into bits' is a closer description.

Conkers are a long way off yet.

But perhaps many of us are feeling the same about our trees. Oak flowers will turn to acorns. (Hang on; what do oak flowers look like?) And those following fruit trees will be looking beyond those petals which have been flung all over the place by the wind - and planning what to do with all those apples and medlar and quinces. (Perhaps with fingers crossed!)

So I'm expecting that now, after a few months of not enough happening, a whole season is likely to have gone over in a month. We'll see!


The link boxes on Loose and Leafy are kindly supplied by


26 comments:

Rowan said...

I agree - a lovely shiny conker is one of the joys of autumn. Now that you mention it I have no idea what the flowers on oak trees look like! I have a large oak tree in my back garden that always has lots if acorns so I must go and see whether I can see any flowers on it!

Lea said...

Very interesting flowers on your tree.
I am really enjoying Tree Following.
Thanks for hosting!

squirrelbasket said...

Thanks again for providing the tree-following place to be!
Loving your chestnut - but they are so damned big, and get a bit messy later.
I have seen some oak flowers this year, but not ordinary oak, only turkey oak and some red oaks. The flowers seem like bits of string with beady seeds on, I think...
Keep up the good work :)

liz said...

Love conkers. At first glance your photo of the "mature" candles reminds me of pink candy floss at the seaside. Look forward to the June tree following, Lucy. Mike is again very kindly posting my Stewartia whose flowers came and went in short order.

My Gardener Says... said...

I had to look up the term "conkers"--I love it! And I love that you got dirty and messy; those are the best childhood games. The cluster of blooms are beautiful on the Horse Chestnut--it must be quite beautiful in full view.

Thanks for hosting this fun and informative meme.

flightplot said...

Playing conkers was always such good fun! Liz's Stewartia post will be done on Tuesday, followed by the Fig tree on Thursday. Flighty xx

Eileen T said...

I like playing conkers when I was small, but my brothers always made the holes for the string ... this is the reason I still have all my fingers and am able to play my instruments properly!!

ramblinginthegarden said...

Yes, I love the tactile nature of conkers, as well as the shine and colour of them... and I used to have one in every jacket pocket... Thanks for hosting, Lucy

amanda peters said...

The flower of this tree is so beautiful when you look close, I'm hoping the wind drops as it's been a bit hard to get a good photo of my tree. Fingers crossed up and running tomorrow...
Amanda xx

edinburghgardendiary said...

Horse chestnut candles are probably my favourite sight of spring!

Donna said...

It sounds like a fun childhood to play with conkers....we did not have chestnuts growing in rural Indiana...more elms and maples. And I do have a picture of my tree flowering although it has not flowered yet this year but should soon.

I finally have a proper post about my tree....I profiled it to learn all about its growing conditions, benefits to nature, uses and folklore....hope you like my American Linden story!

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love horse chestnuts

Helen Gazeley said...

Conkers - irresistible. Always end up in a pocket, where I find them months later.

Angie said...

I was always too lazy to going to the bother of threading the conkers - I used to steal my brothers and his friends. Thanks for hosting Lucy.

Gary Davis said...

My memories of conkers at school are painful! It was played as a full contact marshal art, Kung Fu Numchucks had nothing on conkers :-) Having said that I cannot walk past one laying on the ground without picking it up and taking it with me. the greasy, wax feel of it when you put your hand in your pocket is somehow so comforting and when in spring you put on the jacket you haven't worn all winter it is still there but shrunken and dried out it is still comforting. Thanks Lucy for a thought provoking post.

Amy Myers said...

I've never lived around horse chestnuts; they do sound like very useful trees in their way ;-)
My little Parkinsonia is now proved to have been several, and you are quite right about fruits and such as many of the pods are ripened now!

gardendreamingatchatillon said...

I remember trying to stick pins in them to make conkers - and yes, it was more 'hacked about' than successful. My walnut mystery is still a mystery. Thanks for hosting Lucy!

Brian Skeys said...

Horse chestnut candles are such a wonderful sight. We are fortunate to have one in our neighbours garden.

jeansgarden said...

Your horse chestnut flowers don't look all that tatty to me. These look pink; I think I've only seen them in white before.

feliximgarten said...

It is so amazing to see the whole season condensed - from a bare tree to full blooms to ripe fruit, be it conkers or quince.
Inetresting, too, how different the trees are in their schedules. Some are bearing their fruit already, while your horse chestnut is still in bloom. Linden will be flowering even later.
You got me hooked, I love tree following!

telltaletherapy said...

Lovely intro Lucy to another month of tree following - looking for blossom but none for mine yet - as for conkers, they never lose the thrill of the glimpse inside

wordsandherbs said...

Hi Lucy. Yes, nothing quite like finding the shiny conkers while shuffling through crispy autumn leaves, and the flowers are always such a lovely sight in spring too. My maple has such insignificant flowers in comparison!

Anna said...

We have a chestnut tree at the top of the lane leading from our house up to the main road Lucy. I still look out for those first conkers and get ridiculously excited when I discover them.

beangenie said...

I just made it!

(post written just over a week ago, but I've been away - in Shetland and, yes, the 'treeless' thing is a myth)

novascotiaroots said...

My little one brooded over what to say this month - apparently we need to work on her typing speed!! Loving all of the other trees!!

Pat Webster said...

Talk about squeezing under the wire -- I think the June link box will close in an hour or two. Anyway, I made it!
I also made an error on my link. If you find yourself reading about a little corkscrew hazel, ignore it. That was my June entry for 2015. (What can I say, it's been a VERY busy few weeks.)

I'm looking forward to having some time to read everyone's entries for the month. Keep them coming!