Gardens of Levens

Gardens of Levens

5.0 1
by Chris Crowder
     
 

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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
As head gardener at Levens Hall in England's Lake District, Crowder oversees one of that country's premiere gardens. Here, he draws upon his institution's extensive archives to chronicle the gardens, first laid out in 1694 by Guillaume Beaumont and today boasting the oldest topiary garden and the earliest ha-ha in England. The book's first half is richly illustrated with contemporary plans, sketches, and portraits that illustrate, while excerpts from diaries, journals, orders, and price lists flesh out the story of the garden and its makers. The second half describes the garden of today, illustrated with 100 excellent color photographs by garden photographer Vivian Russell. Crowder also details the behind-the-scenes work involved in maintaining the renowned gardens and discusses future challenges (e.g., the growing severity of diseases attacking the boxes and yews from which the world-famous Topiary Gardens are created) and the resulting inevitability of change-even in the best maintained gardens. Recommended for large gardening collections.-Daniel Starr, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780711224346
Publisher:
Lincoln, Frances Limited
Publication date:
01/28/2005
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
9.22(w) x 10.92(h) x 0.70(d)

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Gardens of Levens 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Gardens at Levens are among the most beautiful and unique gardens in the world. For this visitor, they were a vast sea of magnificent towering topiary, dramatic, otherworldly. Awed, one strolls through a massive green tunnel or beneath a sheltering roof of yews only to catch a glimpse of another wonderful scene that must be explored. In this gloriously illustrated volume one is introduced to the Gardens with the best guide available - Chris Crowder who has been the head gardener at Levens since 1986. He enthusiastically relates how in 1694 in 'one of the sweetest spots fancy can imagine, Guillaume Beaumont designed the parterre and gave the garden its quartered layout.' It is seen today very much as it was 300 years ago. Fortunately, the accounts of former owners, stewards, and gardeners have been preserved. Thus, Crowder can draw upon them to detail how the Gardens have been kept, true to their original design. While the Topiary Garden is probably the most visually arresting, there is so much more beauty to be discovered - the Rose Garden, the Fountain Garden. Not to be overlooked are the wall borders alive with color or the orchard borders decked out in tulips and wild flowers. Vivian Russell's photographs are, as always, a joy to behold. She is a premier garden photographers and treats readers to some 100 color photos. For garden enthusiasts, armchair travelers, lovers of the out-of-doors, The Gardens at Levens is not to be missed. - Gail Cooke