History of Garden Mazes
First garden mazes appeared in the monastery gardens. They were cut out of low shrubs (thyme or hyssop). In such a maze they were reminiscent of the Christ crown of thorns. But the real heyday of the labyrinths came in Renaissance. Christian symbolism has been abandoned under the slogan of reviving ancient traditions. And mazes have come back to the Minotaur.
History of Amazing Garden Mazes
“Space maze” in the vicinity of Tours (France), 1997.
Renaissance gardeners loved to bring an element of surprise in everything. They put the statue of some monster in the midst of a peaceful grove. Labyrinths became three-dimensional. Their green wall grew and hid the goal of a tangled travel from the eyes of the visitor – Minotaur or dragon, marble or shorn of greenery.
Each country had its own kind of labyrinth. In England it was the maze – a complex maze with multiple choice path (the name comes from the word “amaze”). In the French Baroque gardens of the XVII century you could meet short mazes-parterres (ornamental flower beds), and huge entertaining mazes. Crackers and fountains ), where people could arrange receptions, were hidden inside such gardens, as “Garden of Aesop” designed by Charles Perrault in Versailles (1667). Tthere were 39 of sculptural groups, and the total length of the track reached 2460 ft. Walking through this maze was intellectual and at the same time physical exercise.
Since the Renaissance mazes were inextricably linked with curly topiary greenery clipping. First of all, it is because the clipping is the only way to form a dense green wall, a hedge, without which there can not be a maze. And fantastic animals that inhabit the maze made in “green” design looked much more interesting and effective.
Greenery clipping were in two forms – geometric (balls, cubes and pyramids) and “story-telling” : bushes could be formed as “temple, monkey , donkey , bull, bear and a giant”. Plants for mazes and clipping were mainly perennial – honeysuckle, privet, germander, yew, boxwood.
Mazes and topiary work abruptly went out of fashion in the XVIII century , when there were English landscape gardens with a free plan. But already in the XIX century they conquered their former position. And in the late twentieth there was a boom of labyrinths – it was provoked by a great number of “circles” and “signs” in the fields, allegedly left by aliens.
Farmers benefited from the excitement and began to create “story-telling” mazes with images of animals and planets. They are made giant for the Guinness Book of Records and a tourist attraction. However they “live” only two or three months, as for speed and size they are cut out of corn.
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