With textured bark, fragrant foliage, and edible berries, so much can be said about Juniperus virginiana! Soaring tall outside of the manor house, this tree sometimes goes overlooked. But if you look up while you’re walking from Bressingham Garden past the Copper Beech hedges of the Italianate Garden, you’ll see this unique evergreen tree with riddled with blue berries. While it goes by the common name Eastern Red Cedar, it's not actually a true cedar! The variety you see at The Gardens at Elm Bank is virgiana, but there are many varieties of Juniper all over the world.
You might be familiar with this plant, as cuttings of the foliage and fruit make great, fragrant additions to holiday wreaths & garlands. While many refer to the blue fruits of this tree as berries, they are properly called "seed-cones," as they are essentially mini cones (similar to a pine’s pinecones) that carry the plant’s seeds. They are only present on the female trees. These berries are indeed edible, and are used in many dishes and drinks throughout the world. Fun Fact: the berry of common Juniper (Juniperus communis) is actually the main ingredient for making gin!