Have you seen this month’s Architectural Digest? The cover article is of Valentino’s grand chateau, and it includes a tour of his amazing topiary garden.
The editors of AD were so inspired, they created an online only collection of images of the best public topiary gardens around the world. I found it so charming and amazing!
When I think of topiary my mind of course wanders to grand English estates straight out of a Jane Austen novel, but in fact, the art has been around since the Roman Empire. It has also been attributed to the ancient Chinese, and later the Japanese. The trees vary in shape and size ranging from the simple hedge, to a large animal figure. I’m always impressed considering they are traditionally cut by hand, with no guide to aide the gardener. The typical plant is evergreen- mostly boxwood, holly and yew. I’m more drawn to the traditional shapes and styles but I find the whimsical animals and chess pieces just as fantastic. One of the images featured was taken from Green Animals Topiary Garden, which is close to Newport- I might have to take a visit! Here are a few of my other favorite images from the collection: