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World Topiary Day – May 12, 2023

World Topiary Day is celebrated on May 12. While most of us would struggle to level a hedge, professional topiarists carve them to look like real-life items. Many of us despised helping out in the garden as children, but we still enjoy watching rewarding hedge-cutting videos on the internet. Today is the day to put aside our excuses and get out our gardening tools. Begin with a simple shape, such as an oval or square. If you’re feeling brave, go for a mermaid or a rabbit. Even if they finish up looking like a snake or a strange rock — at least you tried.

History of World Topiary Day

Topiary originated in ancient Roman gardens and gained popularity in English gardens. The first recorded mention of topiary comes from 44 B.C. — although other sources place its origins between 23 and 79 B.C. Shaping shrubs, bushes, and trees into real-life objects or geometrical figures are known as ‘topiary.’ To accomplish undulating curves, crisp edges, and complicated shapes, many modern topiarists and topiary enthusiasts now use wire cages and automatic trimmers, while traditional topiarists still rely on simple tools, steady fingers, and patience.

Through this horticultural approach originated in Cyprus, other evergreen shrubs such as yew, myrtle, box, honeysuckle, and holly quickly caught on. World Topiary Day was established by the custodians of Levens Hall in 2021, and the topiary garden at Levens Hall was developed in 1694 — making it one of the world’s oldest. It aims to honor the art of topiary and invites all gardeners and topiary aficionados to take part. Some people consider the topiary to be an effective mindfulness activity, and they enjoy it for the sensation of calm it provides.

The date of May 12 to celebrate World Topiary Day has cultural significance. Levens Hall used to host the eccentric and rowdy Raddish Feast on May 12.

World Topiary Day timeline

44 B.C.
Let’s Take It From the Top

The first written reference to the topiary goes back to 44 B.C.

16th Century
Victorians Love Topiary

Topiary dominates every elite garden of the Victorian era.

18th Century
Topiary Versus Natural Landscape

Topiary starts fading away as people become more inclined towards natural-looking landscaping.

2021
A Celebration for Topiary

Levens Hall inaugurates World Topiary Day to celebrate the love of topiary with enthusiasts across the world.

World Topiary Day FAQs

Who invented topiary?

Some believe that a friend of the Roman emperor, Augustus invented topiary.

What is the difference between bonsai and topiary?

Bonsai and topiary use similar methods to achieve different results. While topiary tends to the foliage to achieve a distinct shape, bonsai uses similar techniques to grow miniature versions of full-grown trees.

How did topiary rise to significance?

Tree sculptors rose to prominence in areas where stone sculptors were prohibitively expensive and suitable flora flourished well. Topiary swiftly became popular in England and the Netherlands but received little attention in Italy and France.

World Topiary Day Activities

  1. Make your own topiary garden

    Find out about the shrubs that grow well in your area, plant it in your yard and get grooming. If you don't wish to undertake any huge and fancy projects, there are smaller breeds of pot plants that can be sculpted too.

  2. Visit a topiary garden

    Today is a perfect day to visit a topiary garden. Levens Hall has many beautiful topiary sculptors on display for today.

  3. Snap and spread

    Spread the love of topiary on social media. Do you have a topiary in your community garden or noticed one while taking a detour from work? Time to snap a picture and share it using the hashtag #worldtopiaryday.

5 Titillating Facts About Topiary

  1. Theme parks

    Disney uses topiary to ornate its gardens at theme parks.{Different name

  2. Different name

    The creators of representational art using trees often garnered different names such as the leafage sculptor, tree barber, and tree mason.

  3. Etymology

    The term ‘topiary’ is derived from the Latin word ‘topiarius,’ which means landscape gardener.

  4. Popular gardens

    Though the art of topiary has now become limited to the gardens of aficionados, some that have survived over the years are “The Marqueyssac” in France, “Drummond Castle Gardens” in Scotland, “Green Animals Topiary Garden” in Rhode Island, and “Ladew Topiary Gardens” in Maryland.

  5. Oldest Topiary garden

    Levens Hall has received the ‘Guinness World Record’ for ‘Oldest Topiary Garden.’

Why We Love World Topiary Day

  1. It’s perfect for every space

    A “DailyMail” columnist wrote that topiaries are more suitable for stately homes. Yet, we beg to differ. Topiary structures can be massive to fit only in expansive gardens or can be small enough to fit in our palms.

  2. Mind and nature

    The regular practitioners swear that topiary brings peace, tranquility, and patience. Researchers have established that the plant-human connection itself has significant positive impacts on the human body.

  3. Green is good

    Topiary cultivates the culture of growing and tending to plants. With the world heating up and pollution rising — we can never have too many greens.

World Topiary Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 12Friday
2024May 12Sunday
2025May 12Monday
2026May 12Tuesday
2027May 12Wednesday

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