Fluttering Flowers
July 1, 2019 – 12:08 am | Comments Off on Fluttering Flowers

Regular readers of this blog know that your Road Trips Gardener considers butterflies as fluttering flowers (of course, they’re privileged visitors to gardens as well).
There are all sorts of places to see butterflies. Some botanical …

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Belgian Topiary

Submitted by on March 5, 2011 – 12:25 amNo Comment
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Tucked into the town of Durbuy, Belgium, is “the greatest topiary park in the smallest town”. Parc des Topiaries is a unique collection of clipped boxwood is spread over 10,000 square meters in the Ourthe Valley (you’ll find it on the map between Namur and Liege). There are some 250 different figures, including some that were started more than 120 years ago.

Topiary (the training and pruning to shape of plant structures) dates back to the first century C.E. The Roman writer Plinius had gardeners from Egypt and Syria (whom he called topiarus) who shaped boxwood into his initials.
However, after the Roman era, topiary was forgotten in Europe, only to become fashionable again during the Renaissance. English and French gardens then had abundances of box that were pruned into geometric forms.

This art form was particularly popular starting in the 17th century (mainly in England, France, Italy and the Netherlands), but it was considered a leisure time activity for amateurs, and professional landscape gardeners frowned on the style..

The park is closed January 1 to March 4. Between March 5 and October 31 each year, it’s open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; from November 1-13, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from November 14 through December 31, it’s open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adult admission is 4.50 € per person.

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