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Topiary


Topiary is the horticultural practice of training perennial plants by clipping the foliage and twigs of trees, shrubs and subshrubs to develop and maintain clearly defined shapes, whether geometric or fanciful. The term also refers to plants which have been shaped in this way. As an art form it is a type of living sculpture. The word derives from the Latin word for an ornamental landscape gardener, topiarius, a creator of topia or "places", a Greek word that Romans also applied to fictive indoor landscapes executed in fresco.

The plants used in topiary are evergreen, mostly woody, have small leaves or needles, produce dense foliage, and have compact and/or columnar (e.g., fastigiate) growth habits. Common species chosen for topiary include cultivars of European box (Buxus sempervirens), arborvitae (Thuja species), bay laurel (Laurus nobilis), holly (Ilex species), myrtle (Eugenia or Myrtus species), yew (Taxus species), and privet (Ligustrum species). Shaped wire cages are sometimes employed in modern topiary to guide untutored shears, but traditional topiary depends on patience and a steady hand; small-leaved ivy can be used to cover a cage and give the look of topiary in a few months. The hedge is a simple form of topiary used to create boundaries, walls or screens.



  • Adam and Eve in yew; Adam a little shattered by the fall of the tree of knowledge in the great storm; Eve and the serpent very flourishing.
  • The tower of Babel, not yet finished.
  • St George in box; his arm scarce long enough, but will be in condition to stick the dragon by next April.
  • A quickset hog, shot up into a porcupine, by its being forgot a week in rainy weather.
Railton is a part of the Kentish Municipality, Tasmania's "Outdoor Art Gallery". Railton's topiary is one facet of the outdoor art gallery. There are many topiaries underway in various stages of growth.
A premier topiary garden started in the late 17th century by M. Beaumont, a French gardener who laid out the gardens of Hampton Court (which were recreated in the 1980s). Levens Hall is recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as having the oldest Topiary garden in the world.
Several informal designs including a line of elephants at Nellie's cottage and a guitar.
A large topiary garden (10 000 m2) with over 250 figures.
140-year-old topiary garden of native white pine and arborvitae.
A topiary garden in Maryland established by award-winning topiary artist Harvey Ladew in the late 1930s. Located approximately halfway between the north Baltimore suburbs and the southern Pennsylvania border. Ladew's most famous topiary is a hunt, horses, riders, dogs and the fox, clearing a well-clipped hedge, the most famous single piece of classical topiary in North America.
A public garden in downtown Columbus that features a topiary tableau of Georges Seurat's famous painting Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte
References
Sources
  • Adam and Eve in yew; Adam a little shattered by the fall of the tree of knowledge in the great storm; Eve and the serpent very flourishing.
  • The tower of Babel, not yet finished.
  • St George in box; his arm scarce long enough, but will be in condition to stick the dragon by next April.
  • A quickset hog, shot up into a porcupine, by its being forgot a week in rainy weather.
  • Parque Francisco Alvarado, Zarcero, Costa Rica
  • Pearl Fryar's Topiary Garden, (Bishopville, South Carolina)
  • Green Animals, a topiary garden outside Providence, Rhode Island. One of the subjects of the documentary Fast, Cheap and Out of Control (1997) was George Mendonça, the topiarist at Green Animals for more than seventy years: "it's just cut and wait, cut and wait" Mendonça says in a filmed sequence..
  • Busch Gardens Tampa, established 1959. 365 acre property featuring large, colorful and detailed sphagnum topiary.
  • Curtis, Charles H. and W. Gibson, The Book of Topiary (reprinted, 1985 Tuttle),
  • Lloyd, Nathaniel. Topiary: Garden Art in Yew and Box (reprinted, 2006)
  • Hadfield, Miles. Topiary and Ornamental Hedges: Their history and cultivation. London: Adam & Charles Black, 1971.
  • Francesco Pona. Il Paradiso de' Fiori overo Lo archetipo de' Giardini. Verona: Angelo Tamo, 1622.
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Wikipedia

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