19 Mar 2011

Corylus avellana contorta

Your intrepid artist-photographer is always after the interesting photograph and a nest (albeit last year's variety) made from Corylus avellana contorta  the 'corkscrew hazel' was worth climbing the tree for. 

A recent Telegraph article by Val Bourne explains: " This intricate form of our native hazel appeared spontaneously in a Gloucestershire hedgerow in the early 1860s. An eminent Victorian gardener, Canon Ellacombe of Bitton, spotted the tangled stems and propagated the plant to amuse his friend Edward Augustus Bowles. Bowles loved plant curiosities and aberrations enough to dedicate part of his large garden near Enfield, Middlesex, to his oddities. His original plant - the first contorted hazel in cultivation - still grows in the 'Lunatic Asylum' (as Bowles named it) at Myddelton House today."

The view from the top of the hazel seen in the photograph below is across the part of the Holkham Walled Garden that is now being redesigned and replanted and will become an interesting 'room' in the garden to wander around and admire. 

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