The Humongous Highgate Bonsai
You know all about Highgate Cemetery in London. You know it was where Dante Rosetti infamously disinterred his lady love to recover some poetry he’d buried with her. You know it is believed to have been the inspiration for the graveyard wherein the vampiric Lucy Westenra meets her grisly end in Bram Stoker’s DRACULA. And you know it was the site of a reputed but much disputed real-lie haunting by a vampire in the 1970s. You even know it has appeared in several of the Hammer Studios Horror flicks. But did you know it is also home to the world’s largest potted plant? It’s true!
The “Cedar of Lebanon” is a big-ass tree (still) growing in the middle of a circle of mausoleums in the infamous cemetery’s west side. These stone mausoleums effectively form an enormous pot, in which the great tree sits rootbound like a giant bonsai tree. The tree actually predates the graveyard by a century-and-a-half. It was already standing tall when Ashurst House was demolished in 1830 to clear the land for the cemetery, and the cemetery grew up around it. Think about all that tree has witnessed, a silent sentinel to almost two hundred years of sacred grief, midnight depredations, and possible vampires. Oh, if that tree could talk!