Visitors, including royalty have admired the avenue of stately trees framing the neo- Palladian villa for centuries, including Queen Victoria and The Shah of Persia who planted Cedars there themselves.
Once matured, their massive, low lying branches attracted many families and famous posteriors over the years, including the Beatles, who filmed Paperback Writer and Rain whilst sitting on one 50 years ago.
The oldest remaining cedars in the grounds date from the late 1720s and coincide with William Kent’s involvement in the garden. Several of Chiswick’s cedars came directly from Lebanon where only a few trees remain from the original cedar forests.
There is now a greater genetic diversity of Cedars of Lebanon in the UK than in their eponymous country where they are now an endangered species.
Some 31 Cedars of Lebanon from five different clones of Chiswick House & Gardens’ trees, have been successfully grafted as part of an English Heritage Project. The project was set up almost a decade ago to propagate significant cedar trees in gardens with which they were associated.
The Chiswick House & Gardens Trust offered the trees to other interested parks and gardens as well as planting eight within their own grounds. Historic sites including Hyde Park Gardens Square, St James's Square, Boston Manor, Walpole Park and Painshill, an important 18th century restored landscape garden in Cobham, Surrey are receiving their trees this month.
Mark Ebdon, estate manager of Painshill, Surrey, said he is delighted that some of the Chiswick Cedars will be introduced to the landscape garden: "This is a great project as these are wonderful trees which will add to the authenticity of the 18th century landscape garden. Charles Hamilton introduced many trees from overseas to Painshill including Cedar of Lebanon therefore were delighted to accept the kind offer from Chiswick House and Gardens Trust."