Echoes of Victoria and Albert
In 1857 Queen Victoria and Albert The Prince Consort visited Haddo House, the Aberdeenshire home of George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen, who had served as the Queen's prime minister from 1852 to 1855. During their stay Victoria and Albert planted the two large Wellingtonia trees Sequoiadendron giganteum be seen at the right of the photograph.
Wellingtonias, more correctly called giant sequoias, are native to the Nevada mountains of California. They were brought into cultivation only in 1853 by the Scotsman John D. Matthew. He had collected a small quantity of seed in the Calaveras Grove and took it home to his horticulturist father Patrick Matthew of Gourdiehill near Errol in Perthshire. The first seeds arrived in Scotland in August 1853 and thus the Haddo trees were some of the earliest plantings in Europe. Since then, they have grown mightily!