Topiary, Knots and Parterres

Topiary, Knots and Parterres

by Caroline Foley
Topiary, Knots and Parterres

Topiary, Knots and Parterres

by Caroline Foley


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After a brief survey of Roman topiary, this book moves on through the formal parterres of Renaissance Italy and the more elaborate broderies of the royal French gardens (copied in palace gardens throughout Europe), the complicated conceits of the Tudors and the geometry of the Dutch school. It takes a wry look at the 18th century, when many fine formal gardens were scrapped in favor of the English landscape school, which, in fact, was no less artificial. In the 19th century there was a revival of parterres filled with tender bedding plants. Green architecture returned with the Arts and Crafts movement, became unfashionable in the mid-20th century and has had a revival in the last decade or so in a more abstract and sculptural form, inspired somewhat by Japanese "cloud" topiary. Widening the story beyond the topiary of Europe and the west, there are chapters on the ancient art of Japanese topiary and on labyrinths and mazes from Minoa. The second half of the book brings us up to date, taking a look at topiary as used by designers such as Jacques Wirtz, Piet Oudolf, Arne Maynard, Tom Stuart-Smith, Fernando Caruncho, as well as talented private garden owners. Finally there is a projection into the future, with the potential for topiary in industrial settings and amenity horticulture and its influence on land art.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781910258187
Publisher: Pimpernel Press
Publication date: 09/01/2017
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 10.70(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Caroline Foley is the author of 10 books, including Of Cabbages and Kings: The History of Allotments. She has been the editor of Topiarius, the pan-European journal of the European Boxwood and Topiary Society, for 10 years.

Table of Contents

Introduction 6

The Patrician Gardens of Rome: AD 79-476 14

Byzantium and the Paradise Garden: AD 395-1453 26

Medieval Europe: And the Hortus Conclusus 5th-15th centuries 32

The Italian Renaissance: Humanism, the High Renaissance and Mannerism 15th-17th centuries 46

The French Renaissance: 15th-17th centuries 74

Britain: The Tudors and Stuarts 1509-1613 108

War in Europe: And the Dutch Golden Age 1613-1702 132

The Swan Song of the Formal Garden: England at the turn of the 18th century 164

The Landscape Movement: England in the 18th century 182

The Victorian Garden: England in the 19th century 206

The Arts and Crafts Movement: The late 19th and early 20th centuries 228

Summing Up: Into the 21st century 250

Garden glossary 282

Further reading 284

Index 285

Acknowledgments 288

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