Herb of the week by Lynn Kirkland for
Last week I had the opportunity to explore
the beautiful Hamilton Gardens for an
hour to break the long journey from Auckland
to Palmerston North.
Of course I was interested in the herb
garden and like our gardens much of the
plantings were in a dormant phase or being
revamped ready for spring.
As always in the winter one notices beauty
in the garden which may not be so obvious
in the summer when there is a lot more
colour and foliage growth.
I find a winter garden very restful and
was intrigued by the twisted branches
of a deciduous shrub beside a beautiful
lichen covered seat.
The tree is called a Contorted Hazel
or Contorted Filbert & Harry Lauder's
Walking Stick. Sir Harry Lauder (1870-1950)
was a Scot & a leading music hall
entertainer who sang lovely ballads &
told jokes on himself. He was greatly
beloved in his day, & was knighted
by King George V for service to the country
in the first World War
His signature song "Roamin' in the
Gloamin'" is still well known, though
many mistake it for a folk tune when in
fact Sir Harry wrote it. He used a twisted
walking cane and no doubt this is why
the contorted hazel came by its other
This tree originated as a natural "sport"
in England in the mid-1800s, growing in
a hedgerow with ordinary European filberts.
Well worth looking for as a feature tree
in a border or container and is happy
in full sun or semi-shade. What an intriguing
tree to come across while exploring these
gorgeous gardens. Well worth the stop
if you are in that area.
lynn another great read.
The HerbFarm Website: