According to the information guide at Hardwick Heath car park the Cedars of Lebanon have been growing there since the 1700s when they were collected as specimen trees by the Cullum family, who owned Hardwick House. In the 1920s when many trees were sold as timber these beautiful trees were saved because of their ‘limited commercial value’.
So how lucky we are now that not only did the Cullum family have an interest in trees and gardens all those years ago, but that these monumental trees have survived into the 21stCentury. The sculptural shapes of the Cedars of Lebanon show how they have been managed over the years, with branches removed and the trees re-growing. Visiting the park today you can see evidence of the care the trees still receive from West Suffolk Council.
Visiting the park in the early morning with a sketch book has been a joy, even on days when I have not really drawn. The trees tower over people walking to work or walking their dogs as they have done perhaps for 300 years. It is a place of permanence and joy – a place to take delight in.
Sara’s work can be seen on display at the Mill Tye Gallery throughout September as part of the ‘Five Pairs of Hands’ exhibition. The exhibition previews on Saturday 31 August from 11am to 7pm and continues until Sunday 29th September 2019.