Here in Mokotow, I am surrounded by chestnut trees. Just down the road along the long eastern edge of the avenues of Andrzej Boboli and Woloska there are more than a hundred mature horse chestnuts all standing to attention. The sight (and smell) is quite overpowering at any time of year but particularly in April when their candelabra gently explode outwards.

Down the main thoroughfare of Raclawicka, itself a haven for some glorious oaks, there’s even a couple of red chestnuts dotted about. But it’s the horse chestnut at the end of my skwer that garners my special affection. I salute it every morning as I bask under it like a house fly in the summer sun. It is a fine old beast of a tree, a sage if ever there was one, ideally situated next to a lime, with a bench and the trzepak underneath. The shade it casts in summer is marvellously refreshing.

In summer, on sun-filled mornings like today, the light appears to cascade through its splayed hand-like leaves making the leaves themselves appear almost translucent. The dance of light and shade within is quite a painting. Indeed, if anything were to convince me to take up a palette and brush it would be this - sitting under the chestnut tree.

Lazing in Lazienki, under the chestnuts.

'In Praise of Shade - Under the Chestnut and Lime'.

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