Four springs ago, we planted a baby horse chestnut sapling. I'd seen photographs of mature trees in full bloom and was smitten - visions of a huge profusely blooming beauty filled my imagination! Fast forward to spring number two when the local deer families ate the poor thing to a nub. I know deer have to eat but I could have cried. I thought for sure it was done. Thankfully it leafed out and survived. That winter in our efforts to protect the tree and foil the deer, we wrapped it in layers of heavy netting. Spring number three arrived with hopeful new growth and several tiny flower buds tangled in the netting - ugh. Then the deer ate them again, along with the netting. Plan C involved staking around the entire tree (sounds big but the tree is still only 7 feet tall) and wrapping the netting around the staking - I would not be defeated! In spring number 4, finally the deer had to find their buffet somewhere else. And, there was lots of green growth but not one single flower bud. Oy. Now, if you know me or read this blog, you know I waited 15 years for my wisteria to bloom. I'm patient. And I'd like to tell you that I had a complex and detailed plan for last winter to coax some blooms from this little tree and keep the deer from devouring it...but the truth is, we were away for most of the winter and did absolutely nothing to protect the tree before we left. And here it is - go figure. It's grown about 2 feet, has 8 gorgeous pink and yellow blooms and is covered in happy little ants and bees! It's beautiful!