New trees for Lanyon’s heritage garden

LANYON Homestead maybe be one of this area’s most popular wedding locations, but it’s been looking a bit down at heel of late.

Domino effect on cypresses, photo by Shane Breynard

Domino effect on cypresses, photo by Shane Breynard

Now moves are afoot to restore a historic hedge in one of the gardens, the director of ACT Museums and Galleries, Shane Breynard says.

Early last century the Cunningham family planted a Cypress hedge to create an intimate ‘room’ in the garden protected from the prevailing western winds. The hedge was long-maintained to just a few metres high, but in time it was let grow to become a high bank of very closely-planted trees.

“Over the past summer and autumn,” Breynard explains, “The trees that remain from this hedge have begun to fail; breaking and twisting and becoming unstable in the soil.”

But with a heritage garden it’s not just a matter of moving in with a bulldozer.

Consultation from heritage landscape experts Sandy Blair, Diane Firth and Ken Taylor confirmed the need for removal of old and dangerous trees, and the restoration of the original plantings was deemed the best way forward, a process agreed to by the ACT Heritage Unit.

With the advice of trained arborists and heritage experts they initially removed the damaged trees, but others quickly failed, ‘domino-fashion.’

“We see the restoration of this historic hedge as revealing a previously hidden story of how the Lanyon landscape was adapted to the needs of its residents and an important new interpretive element that will help us talk about growth and regeneration in the layered history of this magnificent garden,” Breynard says.

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