By: Chris Crowder and Vivian Russell
160 pages, 130 colour photos
At Levens Hall in the Lake District are the most famous and elaborate topiary gardens in Britain. They were first laid out in 1694 by Guillaume Beaumont, who also worked at Hampton Court Palace. The gardens have changed little since. In addition to the famous topiary, the gardens display stunning seasonal bedding, a 'wilderness', an orchard and vegetable and herb gardens in a series of small compartments, making them a useful source of inspiration for visitors. There is a wealth of contrasting features, and an impressive collection of plant varieties, not to mention the earliest ha-ha, or sunken ditch, in England. The gardens at Levens Hall resonate with their 300-year-old heritage while incorporating new developments and changing influences. Head gardener Chris Crowder narrates the rich history of the gardens and presents a detailed horticultural description of them today and the work that goes on there. The text is illustrated with new photography by Vivian Russell as well as illustrations from the Levens archives.
'People visiting Levens for the first time are dazzled by the topiary and the variety of plants. To the visitor, it's a garden of dramatic visual treats.' Vivian Russell, The Times 'One of the top ten gardens in the UK.' Monty Don, The Observer
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