Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Topiary: Levens Hall & Arne Maynard

Levens Hall, The Lake District, Cumbria, was the first European study garden I visited.  I was on my way to Scotland to study historic gardens.
Levens Hall is known for many things, especially topiary, below.
Topiary was not off my radar, entirely, for decades.  I didn't like it. 
Now, I get topiary.  Better late than 'nevah'.  Proof, my mistakes are never small.
Large properties, especially, find topiary useful.  Small properties too.
Accent, focal point, all year effect, easy to maintain, design uses are many.
Across USA millions of homes retain their PSO's planted by the builder to satisfy mortgage loan requirements with new construction.
PSO?  Plant Shape Only.
Plenty of mature USA hollies are ready for topiary.
From Levens Hall, below, a chart of some of their topiary.  What's not to like?  You get to put your mark on topiary.

Discovered the work of Arne Maynard via the internet.  Have never been to his garden, nor those he has designed.  Soon, soon...
Knew immediately he was already where I was headed.  Deep simplicity, Nature, house architecture, wit, intelligence, deeper simplicity.  Of course, Levens Hall runs thru the fragrance of Maynard's work.

Garden & Be Well,    XO Tara
Top pic Levens Hall, bottom pic Arne Maynard.
The famous topiary garden at Levens Hall was laid out on axis from a bank of windows inside the home, the middle lead.   Not written anywhere, discovered during my tour.  Levens Hall has had a head gardener entering in the garden journal for almost 4 centuries.
Life is good, have been to Levens Hall 3 times, and Arne Maynard's gardens await.  Oddly, have zero inclination to travel to international gardens at present.  Too important to design gardens and get them in the ground.  


Tante Mali said...

Amazing! Thank you for sharing. Still have my mouth open!
All my best and happy days

Dewena said...

That picture is beautiful, it makes me want to walk down the path. But then I always want to walk down the paths of the gardens you show here.

Thank you so much, Tara, for your comment on my post on Phila Hach. As far as I know she probably never met Anne Morrow Lindbergh, but wouldn't they have connected if they had! I read that she once organize a dinner here in Nashville for Henry Kissinger and 1,400 United Nations delegates back in the 1970s, and without almost any budget. Instead she managed to talk individual people of TN into contributing everything.

My impression of her is that she has been equally at home with people from royalty to the bag boy at the little grocery store here on Joelton. A true lady!

And your comment on your vanishing threshold in my header was wonderful! I especially love your posts on that concept, whether it is a client's home or your own, well, especially your own. Decades ago I went to a tour of homes where outside of every window of one house was a lovely small garden to look out on or doors that opened to step out into a garden. I had never before seen that done.

It has been wonderful to meet you, Tara,

Maria Killam said...

The topiary chart is so cool. I'm waiting in vain for my little boxwoods to grow into something I can clip.

Coco said...

Is there any way to create a ribbon drive like the one in the photo without having to completely replentish the gravel every couple of years? I´d love one, but the ground swallows gravel.

Tara Dillard said...

Coco you described, perfectly, why your gravel is lost.

It's the type of soil you have. Don't know about Maynard's soil/gravel but here, Atlanta, we have quite firm clay, with gravel lasting years....after the 1st couple of years with settling.


Coco said...

Oh. How disappointing. Thank you for dropping by the blog!