The corkscrew hazel, also known as Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick – each year I love it and hate it!
It looks great in winter but rather bleak in summer. I thought about moving it this year but found it to be like a rugby player – very solid and rooted.
Why is it known as Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick? Harry Lauder, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, grew up to become an international entertainer and singer/ songwriter. I have to admit I’d never heard of Harry Lauder before purchasing the plant.
During the early 1900s Lauder, at one time, was the highest-paid performer in the world, making the equivalent of £12,700 a night plus expenses, and was the first British artiste to sell a million records. Winston Churchill stated that Lauder, "...by his inspiring songs and valiant life, rendered measureless service to the Scottish race and to the British Empire."*
The walking stick name was in reference to one of Harry Lauder’s most recognised companions on the stage. He would appear in public in traditional Scottish dress and carried a very distinctive walking stick, which was bent, twisted and contorted from the handle down to the tip. So it gains this name from the fact Lauder regularly appeared with a crooked walking stick.*
|Above: photo taken Jan 2013.|
|Above: Photo taken January 2011.|
|Above: Photo taken Sept 2011.|
I must admit, since doing a bit of research on the corkscrew hazel, I think my tree is going to eventually get too big for the location it's planted. Bummer!
Here are the pros and cons for the Corkscrew Hazel...
· Slow growing
· Very interesting in Winter with its contorted stems
· Catkins before spring foliage appears
· It gets big – up to 5m (20ft) in 25 years
· It sends up suckers
· It looks rather ugly in Summer (strange crinkled leaves)
*Source for article on Harry Lauder: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Lauder
Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.