For Joy(ful)

I don’t think that I have ever been accused of being fast, (especially by the boys in high school), but this is very slow for me.  Better late than never, I hope, Joy.

Back in March I published a post on the Courthouse Square in Toronto.  This has long been a favourite park of mine in Toronto, ever since my landscape design teacher took his class to see it.  At that time, it was a fairly young space, designed by that great landscape architect, Janet Rosenberg.  My teacher brought his class to show us how the ‘hard’ landscaping flowed and the many different types it included, but I will always remember the plants.

So I wrote a post and showed all my readers what a great space this is.  At the time Joy asked me, what a particular shrub was, and I had no clue. But it started flowering a couple of weeks ago, and I found out who it was.

This was the original photograph.

Meet Aesculus parviflora or Bottlebrush buckeye, a lovely foliaged beauty.

 Her leaves look like a horse chestnut or Aesculus hippocastanun, that was what was throwing me. I have several in my garden, and the darn squirrels keep planting more.  But when she bloomed in mid July, I realized she was not a horse chestnut, they bloom in May.

BB (as I like to call her) is more of a shrub or small tree compared to a horse chestnut.  She is a shapely 15 feet wide by 12 feet tall, and has a bit of a suckering habit (ok, everyone has one bad habit, lol). 

She does respond very well to having her hair cut, you could even cut it to a few inches long and it would regrow, I think she would be a very lovely hedge. 

 I do not know if you dare try this on a horse chestnut, although my neighbour (from the Deliverance house) cut one off that was between him and us. Now it is regrowing with multiple leaders. And I know David Hicks has a chestnut hedge in his garden “The Grove”, although what kind of chestnut it is, I do not know.

There you go Joy, only 5 months late!


20 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    ellada said,

    It’s a very beautiful tree and the flowers are impressive.

  2. 3

    It is great that you were able to go back to see this lovely shrub in bloom Deborah. I love it! It is different from any bottlebrush I have seen. I am calling my local nurseries today. Thanks so for sharing this.

  3. 5

    What a beautiful and interesting tree! I’ve never seen anything like it before. Better late than never, I always say. 🙂

  4. 7

    Not fast? You’re such a disappointment to us!

  5. 9

    Edith Hope said,

    Dearest D, What a marvellous shrub this Aesculus is and it looks to be at its peak just now. I am not surprised that this is a favourite place of yours to go to in the centre of town since the planting is so imaginative and, yet, restful.

    I had not realised that David Hicks had such a chestnut hedge at the Grove but shall see if I can find out more.

    • 10

      Edith, you really need a spot to get away from everyone in the city, and this one in quite undiscovered.
      Do take a look at the chestnut hedge, it is actually on stilts, that David Hicks has, it is lovely.

  6. 11

    Laurrie said,

    It’s interesting what they have done with pruning that bottlebrush buckeye into a tree like form. I have six in a row and am leaving them to mound and mass into a big hedge that will actually form a wall, with branches on down to the ground. But the open airy look of these in the park are so nice. And they seem to bloom just as heavily even with their lower branches raised up. Thanks for showing us these!

  7. 13

    commonweeder said,

    Bottlebrush Buckeye might be worth growing just for the name! This summer I’ve come across a whole bunch of things I want to add to the garden – which is a problem because my husband said we have to downsize. But shrubs like this don’t require much work. I’m sure they don’t.

  8. 15

    Rosie said,

    Wow I gave you a new plant and you’ve done the same to me too Deborah – I think that is flowers are just amazing and the way it holds its blooms too above that beautifully shaped outline. I’m sure its quite versatile – it looks as if underplanting would be quite easy with that shrub. 🙂 Rosie

  9. 17

    debsgarden said,

    Courthouse Square is even more beautiful, now that BB is blooming!

  10. 19

    Racquel said,

    She’s a beauty, worthy of that space indeed. 🙂

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