The History of Topiary Art
Around 44BC in the time of Julius Caesar the first Topiary gardens were introduced to Roman Gardens.
In the 16th Century parterres were seen in wealthy family’s gardens. During this period the traditional shapes balls, cubes, cones and spirals and pyramids came into fashion.
In the 17th century more complicated designs were established and a French gardener created Levens Hall Garden in Cumbria in the 1660’s. (Well worth a visit) It is recognised in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest topiary garden.
In the 18th Century an article in The Guardian blew topiary out of fashion, topiary then continued on a smaller scale in cottage gardens.
Like all fashion it goes out and it comes back in again.
In the 19th century Topiary was back in fashion. Great Dixter House in Sussex is now regarded the eptomine of fashion for topiary and cottagey planting.
In the 20th Century topiarists started creating portable pieces trained over frames using faster growing plants. This style was first introduced in Disneyland in America, for cartoon characters.
In the 21st century the art of Topiary is still very popular, the most impressive sculptures were examples as seen at the 2008 Summer Olympics in China.
Most popular plants used for Topiary
Plants used for Topiary include, Box (Buxus) Yew, Privet, Holly, Photinia, Emerald n Gold, Camelia, Bay, Star Jasmine and Fir trees. This is just a few examples there are other Trees and shrubs available also.
Cloud Trees for a Commercial Client
Clive’s Gardening Services were tasked by a London Administration Company to make tidy the outside space for the Assheton Arms in Downham so it could trade during administration. The pub had been closed for two years and the cloud trees had grown very out of shape. One tree had 17 clouds the other 18. As the images show they were certainly transformed giving the wow factor at the Public House entrance.