I went for a walk this sunny, blustery afternoon which took longer than anticipated as I stopped to natter to a couple of neighbours and then had a rest on the way back. I saw this horse chestnut tree a week ago but didn't have the camera with me. I love these sticky buds in a shiny dark brown case with leaves which unfurl just like a fist of fingers. The 'horse shoe' is there, too. The red or white flowers, which come about May, are very reminiscent of England, especially if you see a row of them. The ex-Asylum site in Stone has one such row, mostly what you might call teenage trees in years but others have already been planted between those so that there will always be horse chestnuts along the road.
When I got home again Ashley was laid out on the garden bench in the sun. I went past him to take a photo of the first tulips I saw in the garden today. I think these might be Pink Perfection, from where they are. (He wasn't as asleep as I thought he was.)
The beech hedge behind them has a clematis Sho-Un climbing up it. It'll have purple 'flat' flowers, or what the label calls 'blue' later in the summer... As I went back indoors I saw one solitary tulip, 'Princess Irene', further down the garden. It's a nice orange with a green stripe on the outside of the petal. There should be more - somewhere!
Forgetmenots have buds on, too! Everything is moving now there's been some rain.