The history of Topiary stretches back thousands of years, to the dawn of civilization when the ancient Egyptians and Persians created formal gardens in association with their equally formal architecture. Adopted by the Romans, who brought the skills back to Rome in the minds of their Syrian and Egyptian slave workers, Topiary spread to Western Europe. Almost destroyed by the fall of the Roman Empire, the art survived in the hallowed cloisters of the early Christian monasteries and abbeys, only to flourish once again with the Renaissance.
The heyday of the formal garden arrived with the seventeenth century and the splendour of Versailles, to be adopted widely, and especially in Britain where fabulous Topiary gardens such as Levens Hall in Cumbria were created. Rendered unfashionable by the era of vistas and landscapes, it wasn't until the Victorian period that individual specimens and clipped hedges made a comeback. Since then Topiary has remained popular, and no more so than today.
To learn more about the history of Topiary, follow this link to our own Brief History of Topiary