Quercus Ilex is a plant that Johnston planted throughout his garden because when young they mimic the look of olive trees, with silvery green leaves, small size, and attractive form. However after 100 years, the tress got very very big. What I think is so fascinating is that the tree can take on many forms. This year many of the trees have been pollarded (all the major branches were cut so new ones will sprout) and this can be seen in the picture above.
Here the trees were more recently planted and pruned to Johnston's original intention, to look like olive trees.
Here the trees were planted and pruned into a hedge! The hedge and the tree to the left are the same species.
This is a specimen that can never be pollarded because of its historical significance. Apparently when this young tree was originally planted, Vita Sackville- West's (the famous gardener and designer of Sissinghurst) dog sat on the tree and broke the trunk. The tree then sprouted numerous canes from the base where it was cut giving it it's highly unusual form. And that is why the tree can never be pruned! I love it.