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Results tagged “john-davidson”

Sep 8, 2011: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew - Cedar Vista

Updated @ 3:20pm on Thursday, September 8, 2011: Added a second photo to the entry by Douglas Justice of UBC Botanical Garden.

It's been a while since I've shared a scanned image from the John Davidson collection of lantern slides (all of these can be viewed on the gallery of the site dedicated to UBC Botanical Garden's first director, "Botany" John Davidson). Although this isn't one of the slides that he decided to hand-tint, I found it intriguing because I was able to locate a modern counterpart along with the story of how things changed.

A present-day view of this vista can be seen (added) with Douglas Justice's accompanying photograph or on Benjamin Simpson's Hodomania blog, in his entry on Kew Gardens (scroll to the bottom of the page, or here's a direct link to the image). A side-by-side comparison of the images shows the vista having been transformed from a relatively narrow lane with imposing Atlantic and deodar cedars to a wider lane with the addition of other trees and shrubs in a far more informal planting style. These latter plantings are also evident from the satellite photographs of Kew via the Google Maps link below the photograph.

The changing cultivated landscape helps to date John Davidson's photograph, placing it before 1923-1924. However, it is still unknown as to whether this was taken on a return visit to the UK for him, or prior to his immigration to Canada in 1911. Kew's web site helps to determine the date, because they include a brief history of the Cedar Vista:

"Cedar Vista... was planted in 1871...Constant pruning of the trees over the years led to their becoming mutilated, so in 1923-24 director Sir Arthur William Hill felled many and widened the vista by some 12 metres. Today, irregularly spaced trees give Cedar Vista the character of an 'informal avenue'."


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