Sunday, July 14, 2013

Tempting Topiary

I've always been fascinated with topiary. I love the clean lines.  The beauty of boxwood and yew lend themselves to such artistry. Perhaps my love began as a child, We lived a few years in New Mexico, and my grandmother would fly us out during summer. We would always tour the Southern California amusement parks, but my favorite was Disneyland. I remember several pictures of us standing in front of its iconic entrance, in which beautiful blooms were used to create magical lettering, characters; shapes. One of my favorite rides when I was young was It's a Small World. The topiaries in front of that ride are phenomenal. 

As an adult, I revisited my love of topiary when I was planning my backyard. An incredible reference book full of ideas is The Art of Creative Pruning by Jake Hobson. The book provides techniques, beautiful examples, as well as history. 

Beautiful Bloom Topiary
For topiary blooms, in my opinion, nobody does it like Disney. Here are a couple of examples featuring Disney's dazzling topiaries. 

These beautiful blooms combined with traditional boxwoods are just spectacular. 

Photo Credit:

Adorable. Daisy, ready for a badminton match. I especially love the topiary full of blooms to the right. 
Photo Credit:

This photo from Flickr features owls with exquisite detail.  These wise fellows perch in the Nantou County of Taiwan. The detailed blooms combine with the breathtaking backdrop sublimely; in which the natural trees emulate topiary beautiful clouds. 

Photo Credit:  Ernesto JT

This topiary of a West Highland Terrier, aptly created and named "Puppy" by artist Jeff Koons, stands tall at the Guggenheim in Spain. 
Guggenheim website

How sweet is this butterfly?  Photo from Scott Thomas Photography. 

Topiary Garden

Topiary gardens create a streamlined, clean look that I find superb. The structure!  
The following are examples of gorgeous gardens featuring topiary. 

Photo Credit:  Architectural Digest

This garden, located at the Château de Villandry in France, utilizes very clean lines, and is simply spectacular. 

LaDew Gardens located in Monkton, Maryland is incredible, and has been named one of the top five gardens in the USA. I love the grand lawn and water feature. The swans are trimmed impeccably. 

These glorious grounds are located in Instow, Bideford. 

This topiary garden, Lotusland, is located in Santa Barbara, California and was originally planted in 1958.  The gardens were redesigned in 2001 by designer Lori Ann David.  

I absolutely love this garden at Levens Hall in northern England. These grounds include over 100 pieces, mostly yew, some of which are over three hundred years old. Exquisite!

The Pearl Fryar topiary garden located in Bishopville, South Carolina features over 300 plants. What I find fascinating about these gardens is that most of the plants were rescued from compost piles of local nurseries, and lovingly brought back to life. 

The gardens at Wingfield College and Church is located in England, and celebrated its 650-year anniversary last year. 

Longwood Garden, located in Kennet Square, Pennsylvania, existed long before Pierre S. du Pont  became its benefactor.  However, M. Du Pont made the most enduring contributions.

Topiary Art

The topiary I find most exemplary of art are topiaries of people and animals. These pieces can exude expressions of whimsy or the refined. 

When discussing topiary that reflects art, one of the most iconic and recognized gardens is located at The Topiary Park in Columbus, Ohio. This wonderful garden created by James T. Mason, is an interpretation of the famous Georges Seurat painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.  

A squirrel at Rufford Old Hall in Lancashire, England 

Bears at Beckley Park in Oxfordshire, England

Doggies at LaDew

These adorable sculptures are located at the Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. 

Animals at Lotusland 
Photo Credit:  Botanicgirl 

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