Ghost gums are one of the most majestic and graceful trees in the Australian bush. The german born Australian artist Hans Heysen is one of my favourite artists and he caught the majesty and beauty of these gums in his many paintings.
In 2010 I visited his property, The Cedars, near Hahndorf in South Australia and walked around admiring the gums he had portrayed in his paintings.
The walk relocates eleven of Heysen’s favoured painting localities on his property, The Cedars. Hans Heysen purchased the Cedars in 1912 from the proceeds of a highly successful exhibition of his work held in Melbourne that same year.
In 1938 Heysen purchased two adjoining properties, extending the acreage from the original 40 acres to just over one hundred and fifty acres. This investment was made for conservation reasons alone, in order to safeguard his beloved gums.
The land was not utilised for grazing or agricultural purposes but solely for the protection of the gums ensuring their future regeneration. The acreage still remains at the one hundred and fifty acres today under the ownership of the third generation of the Heysen family.
Heysen, indeed, was a dedicated conservationist and all his life remained a staunch protector of the gums of the district often paying quite substantial sums of money to landowners and council to ensure that the gums were not cut down for timber.