The ‘Tree of Wishes’ was planted in the school’s Red House Garden in partnership with the Chiswick House & Gardens Trust’s Cedar of Lebanon Conservation project. Year 7 boys each wrote their wishes for the future on postcards, which were then placed around the cedar.
John Lyon School head, Miss Katherine Haynes, commented:
‘It is wonderful to see the pupils’ inspiring and ambitious wishes for the future around this very special tree. I am delighted that the boys will see this sapling thrive during their time with at The John Lyon School, as indeed will they.’
Chiswick House & Gardens have been securing the future of the famous Cedars of Lebanon by grafting five different clones and sharing these with other historic public gardens.
Thirty-one Cedars of Lebanon have been successfully grafted as part of the English Heritage project. They are now growing in historic sites including Hyde Park Gardens Square, St James’s Square, Boston Manor, Walpole Park and Painshill. The John Lyon School was delighted to have been offered one of these saplings and for its newest pupils to be able to join together to plant the tree in the school grounds.
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.
Clare O’Brien, director of Chiswick House & Gardens Trust, added, ‘It is very exciting that these elegant and ancient trees, through their propagation, will provide beautiful new landscapes. I do hope the pupils and teachers of the John Lyon School will enjoy seeing their cedar grow over the years and decades to come.’