The horse chestnut massacre

2006 - The horse chestnut massacre

Spring 2006

I'm really pleased with the part of the garden that is finished.  It's time to start thinking about more trees, to create more shade areas, where in can plant out more hostas.

Summer - Fall 2006

But when everything seems to be coming together nicely: disaster !

The 12 Hyppocastaneas that border the north side of the garden are about 30 years old by now.  You can see some of them in the top picture.  They were one of the reasons why we bought this property.

Most of them already showed some minor signs of disease, but all over sudden 4 of them just die.  A tree surgeon and the internet reveal that all trees have bleeding disease, a fatal (probably bacterial) infection that first showed up in the mid 90's, and that has since decimated the horse chestnuts in Belgium and The Netherlands.  The only possible solution is chopping them down.

I may have cursed the hundreds of young horse chestnuts I had to remove every year, but, as a true and dedicated gardener, this makes my hart bleed.

Add to that the fact that a lot of the work that had been done so far is lost.

Under the canopies already a number of hostas were planted out and they were really doing well, but now they have suddenly been exposed, no shade at all, full sun.  They all will have to return to the containers.

Next spring, new trees will be planted, bur right now the Hosta Mill is everything but a shade garden.