Front Yard Findings: The Ancient Cedrus Deodara

Most who visit our home at some point ask about or admire a certain large and sweeping tree in the front yard. I often joke that this Cedar was one of the main reasons I fell in love with, and purchased, our home. Until a recent article in RichmondOutside.com, we knew very little about her, never imagining she had an exotic, spiritual connection to the Himalayan forest.

My personal love affair with her is complex, and began with the admiration of her sighing branchlets, like giant Mr. Snufalufagus eyelashes swaying. Her tree trunk is divided into three arms, each sturdy and solid, reminding me of sister water spouts  woven statically into the horizon. Her deep green is continuous, a dazzling backdrop for the fluttering cardinals, and a protective camouflage for the  cawing crows. In winter she drops the most glorious sap lined, barrel–shaped cones; heavy, layered, complex and crunchy underfoot. When she speaks…she creaks and aches like a tethered ship. I long to understand her story.

Luckily, an article by Scott Turner has allowed me to do just that. He seamlessly weaves the story of the Dooley’s (Family Responsible for Maymont) and this glorious Cedar tree together, explaining how this genus was hand selected to line their knoll, an “Exotic emissary” from Pakistan right here in our commonwealth.

This article also made me love our home even more. My connection with this Cedar has deepened and after reading the article to Steve, I fully expect to find him meditating under her like a Shiva devoted sage. I will work on giving her a sassy name, update to follow.

For a glimpse into RVA’s horticulture history and what magic may reside in your yard, a link to Scott’s article is below, Enjoy!
http://www.richmondoutside.com/2014/01/16/a-tree-on-a-knoll-the-value-of-maymont/

 

Large Lovely Lady. With the age of our house, we guess she is at least 90 years old.

Large Lovely Lady. With our house’s age, we guess she is at least 90 years old.

 

Crunchy, Layered Cones

Crunchy, Layered Cones

Elephant trunk limps that wind and weave. Great climbing trees for kids.

Elephant trunk limps that wind and weave. Great climbing trees for kids.

Texturedbark with gnarled knots and imperfections. I call that character.

Textured bark with gnarled knots and imperfections. I call that character.

We planted green puffs of moss and stone last spring to add to the magic. We secretly hope it turns into a fairy village.

We planted green puffs of moss and stone last spring to add to the magic. We secretly hope it turns into a fairy village overnight.

This could be a fairy City. So magical.

This could be a fairy City. I would live here, so magical.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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