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This Topiary Gardens is the area which makes the gardens of Levens Hall unique- a surreal and fantastic living sculpture gallery. It is the finest, oldest and most extensive topiary garden in the world. There are over 100 pieces here, each clipped to an unusual and individual design.

Some of the trees and bushes are three hundred years old and the layout of this garden has changed little since their planting and initial training in the 1690s. Then, it was really fashionable to have a garden in the Dutch style with clipped greens set in a pattern of formal box edged flower beds. Fashions changed by the 1730s however, and most similar gardens were ripped out to make way for the new trend of natural landscaping. Amazingly this garden survived that purge, was enhanced in the 19th Century, and continued even through the economic pressures of the 20th Century.

The shapes are made of those tight-growing, small leaved evergreens Yew Taxus baccata, Golden Yew Taxus baccata 'Aurea' and various forms of Box Buxus sempervirens. The low-edging to the beds is now of Japanese Holly, Ilex crenata.

The topiary takes many months to trim mainly using petrol clippers and a hydraulic lift to reach the highest points. This careful crafting is carried out by the highly skilled Levens gardeners just once a year beginning in September.


Last Updated (Wednesday, 22 January 2014 14:53)


Railton is a short drive from Devonport via Latrobe, a part of Tasmania's "Outdoor Art Gallery" - and here you will find Tasmania's hidden secret - more than 100 living sculptures of character topiary waiting to be discovered. The wonderful thing about Railton's topiary is that it is a free activity - and interesting to all ages! It costs you nothing but your time to stroll around the topiary exhibits - you can't say that everywhere you go! It is a fantastic project and you will see topiary in all stages of growth along the topiary trail.

Recently The Apex Club of Latrobe funded the production of the ad with funds raised through the Apex Railtown Expo held at Devonport showgrounds in February. The ongoing airing of the ad is a joint funding project of all the groups (Businesses & Topiary Group, RADDAi, and Apex Club of Latrobe). It is envisaged that the ad will be aired for a month a time, and will be on for a full 4 months of the year on Southern Cross.

Print the topiary trail map from this site - free topiary trail maps are also available at shops in town and have been developed by the Topiary Group with tremendous support from local business. The whole promotional information package that is developing to promote Railton's topiary including the television advertising campaign is a terrific achievement for these community groups working in cooperation.

Not many towns have the opportunity to promote their attractions with television advertising and this is a terrific achievement for the small historic town of Railton which has been bypassed by major roads over the years.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 08 February 2012 14:14)


Report by Dr Béatrice Henicot, Principal Plant Pathologist at the Royal Horticultural Society


In the mid-1990s, the fungus Cylindrocladium buxicola was introduced into the UK. It has had a devastating impact on box (Buxus spp), a British native and one of the oldest ornamentals. The fungus causes leaf spots, defoliation and die-back of box. A diagnostic feature of the disease is the presence of black streaks on the stems.  The disease is extremely disfiguring and as a result of repetitive defoliation the plants may die especially if they are young.  Cylindrocladium blight is different from another box blight disease caused by Volutella buxi. Unlike C. buxicola which can penetrate directly through the cuticule, V. buxi needs wounds to infect and stressed plants are likely to be more susceptible to the disease. This latter fungus also causes dieback and it is often seen with C. buxicola. In wet conditions, the spores of the fungus are white for C. buxicola and pink for V. buxi and may be seen on the under surfaces of infected leaves.

Last Updated (Friday, 14 February 2014 13:21)

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