Dancing on the Brink of the World


As the signature species of Cypress Lawn Arboretum, Hesperocyparis macrocarpa has graced the landscape of our storied Memorial Park since its founding in the late 1800s. Century-old specimens may be found on each campus across our acreage, and this one tree will likely define the cemeteries of Cypress Lawn for all eternity.

The tale of the Monterey Cypress, though, branches out far beyond the grounds of our cherished Arboretum, originating on a lonely rocky outcropping of the California coastline and today reaching by sea and by seed to every habitable continent on Earth. My dear friend, Old Hespero, lives a grand global narrative of kinship shared between people and trees, spanning across generations, and spreading to the distant corners of our planet, along the way fostering a cultural connection with humanity that grows on as an anecdote of our deeply rooted relationship with all of nature.

The stories, photographs, paintings, and poems of this virtual exhibit will share this ongoing message with you, one volume at a time over the seasons to come. As is often true in the interwoven tapestry of life, one string stitches to another, and yet another, perhaps in unforeseen ways, leading in time to a vast work of art with meaning and beauty beyond the intention of any one thread. Such is true of the growing saga of the Monterey cypress, continuing here in these words and ever dancing on the brink of the world.


Featured Post – Volume X – Fathers

Many of us owe a professional debt of gratitude to those who walked before us, people who blazed a trail as innovative giants in an age before our own. In the heritage landscape that is Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, the giants stand on their own, the wooden behemoths of our living collection grown over the course of many decades to define the singular place we now call the Arboretum. It is their planters, though, upon whose shoulders I stand today; the founders and park stewards of days gone by who cared for the cypresses of Cypress Lawn long before my own era as an arboricultural caregiver.