Monday, May 25, 2009

All Tied Up

Image Garden Visit

On Saturday Son # 5 (the Landscaper) completed a big job he's been working on for the past 2 months. I drove past the house yesterday & wow, I may be biased but the results are just spectacular. I showed him all the wonderful comments from my previous post on his work & in his own quiet, reserved way he was really delighted - thank you all so much for your lovely feedback. I'll post on his latest project in the next couple of weeks.

We were talking about formal gardens & the subject of Knot Gardens came up. He's had a request from a client to do a small version in a walled, semi-shaded courtyard, so we've being doing some research together. He loves the challenge of precise, formal work & by the speed of referrals he's receiving & his long waiting list, it appears this has become his trademark brand.

Originating in the Elizabethan period, knot gardens are traditionally placed in a courtyard & are designed to look like the pattern in a woven rug or tapestry. Low growing hedges & gravel walkways were used to simulate the interwoven effects of the pattern & clipped trees & shrubs are used to form the central pattern generally in the form of rectangles, squares or circles. Often, perfectly balanced topiary trees are used as a feature in the corners of the design. They are best seen from upper storeys or balconies of a house & they look particularly spectacular from the air.

Because of their precise layout and reliance on geometric shapes, knot gardens are traditionally high maintenance, as the hedges and plants must be constantly trimmed and pruned. Traditionally, knot gardens use one type of hedge only to border the walkways, & it's generally Buxus because it's easy to shape. Then various types of plants, shrubs, flowers or herbs are used to fill in the various compartments. In Elizabethan times, knot garden compartments were often filled with colourful medicinal herbs.

Image Rafter Tales

Image Garden Visit (Little Moreton Hall)

Image House to Home

Image My House & Garden (Hatfield House)

Image NGS

Image Magical Heritage of Essex (Layer Marney House)

Image LondonTown (Hampton Court Gardens)

Image UK8 (Sudeley Castle)

Image i.ehow

Image GOGG


  1. This is just beautiful!! I would love to add some formality to the garden! Your son's work has inspired me!!
    Thanks for sharing, you should be proud...he is very talented!

  2. I adore these. There is something so completely soothing about the perfection. Great post and amazing photos.

  3. Millie~ I certainly appreciate your son's fine work! I was the gardener on a private estate for 6 years and it's constant clipping, trimming, pruning, digging and... very ,very rewarding work. I look forward to seeing the photos of his work. It's wonderfully fulfilling work and yes- you are I am sure, very proud of him. Lovely post.

  4. Like something from a storybook. I do hope you keep sharing images of his work as well. I'd love to see a smaller garden of this design.

  5. These gardens are so lovely Millie, I wish I had the space for one! You must be so proud of your son that he can do this style of garden - it looks very complicated. Tracey xx

  6. Inspiration indeed MIllie - these formal gardens are a favourite of mine too. I hope that talented boy of yours has some time over to create something wonderful for his mother....xv

  7. The walls in the top photo are perfect. I would love to have a knot garden...wonder if your son would come to Tassie??? =)
    Ness xx

  8. Why does my hedges ever look that fabulous! Amazing talent and sense of space!

  9. Hi Millie...absolutely stunning!!! Looking forward to The Landscapers's latest must be proud of him!!! Enjoy the week...Dzintra♥x

  10. Your son's work is amazing!He is very talented!!! You should be proud!
    Have a nice week

  11. well, that was simply stunning!
    I have a small Potager, and absolutely would love to rest my eyes upon a hedge 'maize' such as those you showed us...

    but alas...the weather in Illinois is a bit too 'cold' over winter for such an endeavor!
    lovely photos...

  12. Very cool, Millie.
    Can't wait to see your post on your son's latest project.
    I love working on gardens. So much more forgiving than interiors!


  13. Hi Millie! These images are great and appeal to my perfectionist nature! Gardens are a wonderful thing when you live in a unit! So keep the gorgeous gardens coming!I'm looking forward to seeing your son's latest project! Clever boy you have!

  14. Hi Millie,

    Love the gardens and what a treat it would be to look out on that everyday.
    One day I would like to do a Potager herb garden, on my list of things to do.
    Great post and thanks for sharing.
    You must be so proud of your Son and look forward to seeing his latest project.

    Enjoy your week

  15. Fantastic gardens. Hope you will share photos of your son project soon.

  16. i love this. the work and time involved...
    and when i look at this, i think 'patience.'
    i have none.

    but thank G-d someone does, or look what we would be missing.



And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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