Adjacent to the angle path are a number of rhododendrons, camellias, magnolias and other trees.
A conical shaped evergreen tree with drooping sprays of flattened foliage. The top leading shoot also typically droops. Thin white lines are visible on the underside of the leaves which release a resinous parsley-like scent when crushed.
Season of interest year round. In spring tiny red male cones grow at the ends of the smallest branchlets before shedding pollen and dropping off. Female cones form well behind the tips of the sprays as green spheres ripening to a woody, purple-brown.
The lower branches have rooted where they touch the ground giving the appearance of a group of trees but this is a single specimen which was planted before 1953. To fully appreciate the dimensions of this enormous conifer view it from the path next to the Summer House.
Native to the Oregon/California border where it can reach 70 m tall, Lawson’s Cypress is named for Peter Lawson, owner of an Edinburgh nursery, who financed expeditions in 1854 which led to its discovery by William Murray, a Scottish botanist.
Hundreds of cultivars of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana are available in various colours, sizes and shapes. The wood is light, strong, with a fine grain and resists rot. It is highly prized in Japan for making coffins and has excellent tonal qualities and is used in guitar soundboards.
Crinodendron hookerianum or Chilean Lantern Tree
This dense evergreen shrub has dark green, pointed, leathery leaves and nodding, long-stalked lantern-like crimson flowers hang among the branches.
Season of Interest. Year round for its foliage but spectacular from late spring to early summer when the red flowers appear. Individual flowers may stay in bloom for over a month.
Introduced to the UK in 1848 by the Cornish plant hunter William Lobb, Crinodendron hookerianum is native to Chile growing in humid stream-side locations or very shady places. The Lantern tree is best grown in mild areas where there is less risk of frost damage to young growth and buds. The English botanist William Jackson Hooker studied Chilean plants and this species was named in his honour.
The Exeter nurseryman James Veitch employed the Lobb brothers, Thomas and William, from 1840 to the 1860s searching for exotic plants. Working in Indonesia and the Philippines, Thomas discovered a Phalaenopsis orchid which now bears his name and he introduced the pitcher plant (Nepenthes species) to the UK. William explored the Americas discovering many now familiar plants including the monkey puzzle tree (from Chile) and the giant sequoia, Wellingtonia, from the Sierra Nevada in California.