a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

My hazelnut trees are flowering!


Two flowers corylus avellana

Bright red against the blue sky!

Single flower

They are not like the flowers on apple or pear trees, in fact, the petals remind me more of sea anemones.

Front flower

I must admit, this is the first time I have seen the flowers of my hazelnuts.  Last year I saw the photographs of these intriguing flowers on one of my favourite blogs, New Hampshire Garden Solutions.  He sees everything!  I was determined I was not going to miss seeing mine this year.

Size comparison

I think you will forgive me for missing them when you see the size comparison with the male catkins.

corylus avellan flower and catkin

Once you have seen one they become obvious to spot but given that they are in flower now when it is cold and damp in the garden, I think that these unusual flowers will pass unadmired in many a garden.

corylus avellana flower


Seeing my hazelnut flowers for the first time lifted my spirits during a cool, dull, damp week while I nursed my cold.


Author: afrenchgarden

Born in Scotland I have lived in England, Iran, USA and Greece. The house and land was bought twelve years ago in fulfilment of the dream of living in France that my Francophile husband nurtured. We had spent frequent holidays in France touring the more northerly parts and enjoying the food, scenery, architecture and of course gardens. However, we felt that to retire in France and enjoy a more clement climate than we currently had in Aberdeen we would need to find somewhere south of the river Loire but not too south to make returning to visit the UK onerous. The year 2000 saw us buying our house and setting it up to receive us and the family on holidays. The garden was more a field and we were helped by my son to remove the fencing that had separated the previous owners’ goats, sheep and chickens. We did inherit some lovely old trees and decided to plant more fruit trees that would survive and mature with the minimum of care until we took up permanent residence. The move took place in 2006 and the love hate relation with the “garden” started. There was so much to do in the house that there was little energy left for the hard tasks in the garden. It was very much a slow process and a steep learning curve. Expenditures have been kept to a minimum. The majority of the plants have been cuttings and I try to gather seeds wherever I can. The fruit trees have all been bought but we have tender hearts and cannot resist the little unloved shrub at a discount price and take it as a matter of honour to nurse it back to health. This year I have launched my Blog hoping to reach out to other gardeners in other countries. My aim is to make a garden for people to enjoy, providing shady and sunny spots with plants that enjoy living in this area with its limestone based subsoil and low rainfall in a warm summer. Exchanging ideas and exploring mutual problems will enrich my experience trying to form my French garden.

38 thoughts on “My hazelnut trees are flowering!

  1. small, delicate pink stars — beautiful!


  2. Just like sea anemones, you’re right. I hope your cold isn’t the horrible virus that has been awful for everyone, take care.


  3. Yes, they are lovely. Some of mine are also opening, despite the low temperatures. They are so tiny but you have got some great close-ups of them. Hope your cold is getting better! 🙂


  4. Amelia, I have never seen a Hazel in flower, that looks exciting! I really like New Hampshire Garden Solutions blog too, he always inspires me to look more closely when I am out walking.


  5. Lovely close ups of such tiny flowers, and do hope that the weather, and your cold, lifts soon,


  6. Hope today’s rain didn’t get you down….
    curse that nold…
    takes another sip of medicinal whisky…
    nurse that cold!!

    Wonderful macros… they are lovely flowers, are they not!!
    Our male catkins haven’t started to lengthen yet…
    but they are Webbs / Cobnuts / Filberts and they are always later than the wild hazels…
    so the female flowers won’t have opened…
    they follow the catkins very closely.

    Another for you to look out for at this time of the year are the male and female flowers of the Larch… equally overlooked… but lovely early colour.


  7. I’m glad that you were able to find them. They really are beautiful little things and well worth searching for!
    I know how small they are and how hard they are to get a good photo of and your shots are excellent. I can’t wait to give it another try myself, but it will be a while yet here.
    Thank you for the blog mention. Take care of that cold!


  8. Be cheered by those tiny little beauties. You’re on the threshold of spring. I’m jealous, as I look out at the snowy fields.


  9. How pretty! I had no idea. The red color is so striking.The pattern on the bark is intriguing, too. There’s so much to see in nature if one is willing to look closely. Hope you’re feeling better soon!


  10. Thanks for recommending the New Hamsphire blog, I’ve started following him.


  11. Having seen your pictures, I had a look at some of the hazel trees nearby and found the same red flowers – a revelation for me.


  12. ahhh! We netted our hazelnuts this year – we’ve not had a hazelnut in 20 years… Possums have been helping themselves to both male catkins and the female flowers it seems as we’ve seen neither. No I know what to look for! Thank you Amelia


  13. Thanks for sharing these, never noticed them before. Better keep my eyes peeled.


  14. They are like sea anemones aren’t they? You have keen eyes to spot them too.


  15. How beautiful the hazels are bursting into flower. No wonder they are irresistible to the bees.


  16. Great photos, they remind me of little sea urchins.


  17. Pingback: The bees and Sweet Chestnuts | a french garden

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