Have you ever seen the infamous Mickey Mouse carved out in bushes of Disney Land?
That is actually an ancient horticulture practice called topiary that has been continually used to this day and age.
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Particularly, topiary is a horticulture practice of training perennial plants, usually short-lived shrubs and bushes with less to no woody growths like branches, etc.
The act is defined by clipping the shrubs’ bushes and leafy foliage to create a clean and maintained design or shape. From this point forward, it’s completely up to the artist as to what shape the bush takes. That’s why topiary gardens are breathtaking and beautiful.
They are usually famous tourist attractions around the world that actually work as an art gallery, showing off art pieces of various artists. As an art form, a topiary is considered a type of living sculpture as it is carved or sculpted out from living, breathing plants.
Here are our top five picks of the most breathtaking topiary gardens from around the world:
Manoir d’Eyrignac – France
The Manor d’Eyrignac is one of the oldest topiary gardens in existence and is still being actively maintained to keep up the garden’s art and beauty. The Manor d’Eyrignac, unlike other topiary gardens, is actually a manor originating in the 17th century. It was recreated in the 18th century as an Italian Renaissance garden to further extend as a topiary garden. The water supply reaching the garden is sourced from seven springs around the area. The garden is one of the most majestic sites in the world. Hence earning it a place on the list of Committee of Parks and Gardens of the French Ministry of Culture as one of the Notable Gardens of France.
Longwood Gardens – Pennsylvania
Longwood Gardens is a botanical garden in Pennsylvania that stretches over 1000 acres filled with woodlands, various garden varieties, and meadows. It is considered one of the premier horticultural garden displays of all time in the United States. Each year, the gates of the garden are open to visitors to come and enjoy the breathtaking artistry and views of exotic and native plants. Many art students utilize the beautiful garden backdrops to display their art and conduct themed seasonal workshops. Thanks to its location, Longwood Gardens now enjoy secluded maintenance under private owners with its long, varied history.
Levens Hall Manor – England
Levens Hall is the name of an infamous British manor in the Kent valley, located near the village of Levens, hence derivative of the name. It stretches of 9km with a splendor of amazing horticultural art displays. However, the topiary garden fame of the manor comes secondary to its fame due to supernatural activities. Reportedly, the manor was haunted by a Grey Lady. Besides that, the manor’s celebrated and huge topiary wonders are a talk of art even today. It is considered one of the oldest topiary garden masterpieces, with Beaumont laying out the parking area between 1689 and 1712, with it has survived and is still remarkably intact.
Château De Villandry – France
The Château de Villandry is a grand country house located in France and is especially known for its breathtaking topiary garden wonders. The location once used to be a fortress until the 17th century when Jean Le Breton acquitted it, and consequently, a château was constructed. However, still owned by the great-great-grandsons of the family, the Carvallo family has opened the château to the public. It is one of the most visited topiary gardens of the world thanks to its rich history and references. According to a report compiled by Oxford, Château De Villandry receives about 330,000 visitors each year pre-Covid.
Drummond Castle – Scotland
Located in Perthshire, Scotland, Drummond Castle is known for its historical and beautiful topiary gardens. The Historic Environment Scotland describes the artistry and area as “the best example of formal terraced gardens in Scotland.” Moreover, the added old-world charm of the actual castle with its tower house gives the whole garden an amazing vibe and transfers the visitors back to the 18th century. Today, the formal gardens in Drummond Castle are a protected site by the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland.
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