… and the gardeners like animals!

The plants do not go to a hairdresser, however, sometimes a hairdresser comes to them. The art of trimming trees and shrubs to achieve certain, sometimes really elaborate shapes has been known since the times of Ancient Rome. Plants shaped like that are called  „opus topiarum” – topiary. This art was hugely popular in the Renaissance, started to decline though with the growing popularity of landscape gardens in XVIII century. It was also fashionable in China and Japan, albeit in a slightly different form. It came back to Europe in a reign of  glory in the XIX century and is still visible here and there today. The trimmed plants are often placed in places designed for children. Here animals’ shapes are often used – and that’s what I would like to write about today!

I noticed that the fashion for animal shaped plant sculptures is doing well – especially in the UK, but definitely not only there.

While browsing the web today I found a wonderful whale from a sleepy seaside town in Kent. The impressive animal was made by a lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, Nicki Leggatt. One can argue about tastefulness of such objects, but one cannot deny the time and patience needed to achieve such a spectacular effect. The owner started to prune it from an overgrown privet hedge in 2003. now she’s growing its tail. I, personally, find it endearing!

You can find the full article here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1131947/Whale-hedge-sculpture-proves-big-hit-seaside-town.html

Animals appear also in English parks, for example the lion and the peacock from the castle park in Colchester, Essex.

A Dangerous Lion

A Proud Peacock

It’s worth noting that where the lion is traditionally sculpted from a box shrub, the peacock has its tail made of flowers. Definitely such objects enrich the park for the visitors and attract the children.

Finally, I found some sculptures in the zoo – where they seem to fit really well. The squirrel and the dog (or IS IT a dog?) welcome the visitors to the Budapest Zoo, that I visited  a few weeks ago. The decorations add to the attractiveness of the garden, especially for the children. They are not as impressive as the whale from Kent, but still nicely introducing the aim of the park to the visitors.

A squirrel among the flowers

I suppose it’s a dog…

And finally,  opus topiarum for the XXth century – the moss sculptures. You can see them here: http://www.gidesigns.com/animal-topiary-wire-art.html

Have a nice sculpting!

00:35 | by Marta

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Jadorna Green Area Design Marta Ratajszczak
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