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The Garden at Levens

At Levens Hall in the Lake District are the most famous and elaborate topiary gardens in Britain. They were first laid out in 1694 by Guillaume Beaumont, who trained under Andre Le Notre at Versailles and who also created the great Privy Garden parterre at Hampton Court Palace. The gardens have changed little since then. In addition to the famous topiary, the gardens display stunning seasonal bedding, a 'wilderness', an orchard and vegetable and herb gardens in a series of small compartments, making them a useful source of inspiration for visitors. There is a wealth of contrasting features, and an impressive collection of plant varieties, not to mention the earliest 'ha-ha', or sunken ditch, in England. The gardens at Levens Hall reflect the heritage of its three-hundred-year history, while incorporating new developments and changing influences. Head Gardener Chris Crowder narrates the rich history of the gardens and presents a detailed horticultural description of the site today and the work that goes on there. The text is illustrated with new photography by Vivian Russell as well as illustrations from the Levens archives.
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About the Author

Chris Crowder has been the Head Gardener at Levens since 1986. Vivian Russell is a writer and photographer. Her books include Monet's Garden, Monet's Water Lilies, Monet's Landscapes and Edith Wharton's Italian Gardens.


'People visiting Levens for the first time are dazzled by the topiary and the variety of plants. To the visitor, it's a garden of dramatic visual treats.' Vivian Russell, The Times; 'One of the top ten gardens in the UK.' Monty Don, The Observer

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