Tsuga heterophylla, the Western Hemlock, neat and dense, withstands close clipping and retains its shape. A tree of forest proportions in its native Western North America. A Pacific coast plant introduced to Scotland in 1852 as seed from the collector John Jeffrey, previously a gardener at RBGE. Jeffrey, although not as famous as David Douglas, travelled extensively from Hudson Bay in 1850 through North America until he was no longer heard from in 1854.
T. heterophylla has two other characteristics as a hedge, by mid-summer the even fresh growth gives the hedge a soft appearance. During autumn myriad cobwebs cling to the sides of the hedge and show up in the seasonal droplets of mist that cling to the webs. At the Bio Blitz of June 2013, 15 species of spiders were recorded – 14 of them were new Garden records. Hedges again proving their worth as ecological habitat.
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