Oh there's nothing like stepping out on an autumn day and collecting conkers! I did just that this morning and here is the treasure to prove it!!
I'm working on autumnal themed art for the coming week and what a perfect way to bring a little seasonal inspiration into the studio!! I've traded flowers for these beauts.
You may have noticed the subtle bit of artwork that I simply couldn't resist! Good old sharpie pens have their uses and let's be honest, who can resist a smiley face!
On a serious note...
Horse chestnut trees are in serious danger! :( The conker could vanish from Britain because of a lethal combination of disease and invasive moths, scientists have warned.
Experts predict that two million horse chestnut trees will be lost in the next 15 years, while they are no longer being planted because they only survive three to five years before they are killed by the leaf-miner moth.
I adore these beautiful majestic trees...
The moth larvae cause the leaves on horse chestnut trees to turn brown early and drop in summer, before the conkers have had time to develop.
It also leaves older trees more susceptible to diseases such as bleeding canker, a fungal disease which can cause a black, gungy ooze and eventually death.
So what's the answer? What can we do?? PLANT A CONKER! at least one of your little treasures, ideally two. Please, please, please. Yes they are huge trees, so you need to pick your spot carefully. It's easy peasy - you just plant them in well drained fertile soil, ideally after they've split but its not essential. They often split in the ground. The most important thing is to plant them.
It will take a few years before you can enjoy the rewards but this would be a worthwhile contribution to the horse chestnut tree's survival. We are talking best of British here and we need to all protect this precious part of our heritage.