Recently on the news, reporters sought the answer to a question apparently on many Oregon citizens' minds right now. What is a buckeye? I was sitting on the sofa, only half paying attention to the question and quickly replied, "a tree. Duh."
We who garden know these things. For the rest, there is Wikipedia, full of information and photos of Aesculus glabra. Or there is the nightly news.
With the Oregon masses duly educated, said TV reporters asked passersby if we shouldn't cut down a heritage, prominently located Buckeye tree because, of course, the University of Oregon football team will be competing with the Ohio State Buckeyes for the national championship. It was done tongue-in-cheek, I hope. Oregon loves its trees. But maybe not as much as it loves its football. I'm not sure.
Admittedly I can ignore a football game for a garden tour any day. I love the buckeye tree (also called Horse Chestnut). The verdant, palm-shaped leaves are fabulous and the red-flowered variety is jaw-dropping when in bloom. Despite being completely winter-hardy it has a tropical look that I can't resist. Below is a photo I took a few years ago of Buckeye blossoms.
|With petals leaning more towards hot-pink than red, this Buckeye, what I assume is|
Aesculus pava is a small tree or large shrub, perfect for those of us with limited space.
Anyway, we're fogged in right now. Fortunately the temps aren't terrible-40s and 50s. And I'm noticing just a smidgen more daylight now in the evenings. Hooray!
It might be wishful thinking but I think I may be detecting a few microscopic flower buds on my Grevillea rosmarinfolia. I'm keeping it in a pot by the door and bringing it inside when the temps dip low like they did last week. It's worth it to witness these fantastic blossoms.
|I've had it planted in the ground twice and lost it both times to winter's cold.|
No more! I'm learning.
And finally I'm seeing lots of buds and a few open flowers on my Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox). While the flowers are nothing to write home about, their scent is to die for.
I hope you're enjoying your winter months, dreaming of the garden to come.