From the Sapindaceae family, the tree is a hybrid between the native horse chestnut and the American Aesculus pavia. It has big red and pink flowers – about 20cm long – which look amazing. I was so happy to find this plant at the front of the Manor when I came to Gravetye.
It’s quite a big tree which can grow to about 20m, though there are smaller horse chestnuts perfect for a garden with less space. The red flowered A. pavia ‘Briotii’ will grow to around 4m and the lovely cream A. Parviflora is smaller still and will soon be in flower in the east garden at Gravetye.
I look forward to seeing horse chestnuts in flower every year as it reminds me of my school days in France.
Words and photographs by Martin