Sunday, March 30, 2008

Aesculus californica in Adelaide

It has been a while since I last posted. Work has been busy, and the garden has taken third or fourth priority in the last month, unfortunately. We have had a little rain, and the difference is remarkable. I have also been interstate, and I visited Adelaide in South Australia. Arriving on the 26 March, I just missed a heat wave that hit the city. For fifteen consecutive days Adelaide's maximum temperature exceeded 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit). Adding to the challenging heat was the absence of any meaningful rain for nearly three months. I visited several gardens and arboreta to see how the plants were faring. Although some trees were looking rather worse for wear (or in some cases dead), others appeared to have performed quite well. The plants from drier climates interested me the most. I visited the Waite Arboretum in Urrbrae, where I took this photograph of their Aesculus californica (Californian Buckeye) looking absolutely superb. The photograph doesn't do justice to the brilliant white of the bark on this tree. Note the excellent fruiting also. The tree was growing on a "soil" consisting of little more than red crumbly clay. I will be extremely pleased if the tree of this species I planted in my garden looks like this one day. And the tree isn't dead, it is summer deciduous. Waite also have some interesting Californian Oaks, but more on them later.