5 Jaw-Dropping Topiaries

If you enjoy having to pick your jaw back up off the floor as much as we do, you're going to LOVE the following choices straight out of Smithsonian Magazine.

If you've never made your own topiary but are curious about the process, check here. It's easier than you think! The following amazing gardens, however, truly are exceptional. Start smaller and work your way up...and in the meantime, enjoy the show below.

 

Municipal Cemetery (Tulcan, Ecuador)

Aren't these beautiful? They're reminiscent of Incan or Aztec monuments and were originally inspired by the mind of Jose Franco, who sculpted similar images in the 1930s. Today the tradition continues at the cemetery via a team that includes some of Franco's descendants. 

Church of San Rafael (Zarcero, Costa Rica)

A dinosaur, an octopus and these 16 awesome arches are all features of this 50+-year-old garden. Evangelista Brenes was still clipping away, in 2008 (at last check), at the structures he began in the 1960s. He revealed that it took an entire month to shape religious and fanciful structures alike, at which point he had to "start all over."

Levens Hall (Cumbria, UK)

Called "the world's oldest (existing) topiary garden," the Levens Hall garden dates to the late 17th century. Guillaume Beaumont, gardener to King James II - who reigned in Shakespeare's time - started the maze of complicated, gravity-defying bushes and trees. Bonus for those who love a great story: various ghosts are said to inhabit the area.

Marqueyssac (Vézac, France)

A staggering 150,000 boxwoods make up this mind-bending landscape which, when viewed from the air, looks like the fluffy backs of sheep. Another long-time structure, the Marqueyssac topiary began taking shape in 1861 under the caring and talented hands of gardener Julien de Cerval.

Topiary Park (Columbus, OH)

The very appropriately-named Topiary Park recalls the famous George Seurat's famous pointillist painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. In brilliant shades of green, 19th-century leisure-seekers "stroll" across the landscape, complete with sun umbrellas and favorite pets, and a "canoe" sweeps across the water with passengers on board.




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