News at Levens Hall
08 April 2024
‘Topiary Message in a Bottle’ Relay
Levens Hall and Gardens Creates ‘Topiary Message in a Bottle’ Relay. A Topiary 'Message in a bottle' has been launched by Levens Hall and will travel across the world to other gardens participating in World Topiary Day.

Cumbrian garden, Levens Hall and Gardens, is celebrating its fourth global celebration of topiary – World Topiary Day – with a very special international ‘relay’.

The historic Elizabethan property, which is home to the world’s oldest topiary garden, founded in 1694, has created a “topiary message in a bottle” as its relay ‘baton’.  The bottle contains a message to thank other world gardens for their participation in World Topiary Day 2024 and invites them to add their garden stamp, to show where the bottle has travelled.

The bottle was launched on its way on this topiary garden journey by Levens Hall and Gardens’ owner, Richard Bagot, amidst sunshine in the Levens Hall topiary garden. 

Its first stop is the Monumental Gardens of Valsanzibio, located near Padua in Italy.  The garden is eagerly awaiting the bottle’s arrival, so the team there can be photographed with it and post their pictures on social media.

Valsanzibio is home to the highest concentration of boxwood plants in the world. Boxwood at Valsanzibio forms walls over 5 metres in height and over 6000 Boxwood plants come together in the garden’s labyrinth.  Boxwood borders also create boulevards or alleys that represent those to be found within the Calle Veneziana, Venice.

The exceptional gardens are a monumental symbolic pathway to perfection, with a walk through them being a journey that brings man from falsehood to truth and from ignorance to revelation, the latter achieved on arrival at the stunning villa that is still the family home today.

From Valsanzibio, the bottle is destined to make its next stop at the Jardins des Marqueyssac in the Dordogne, the most visited garden in south-west France. Here, 6km of pathways are surrounded by over 150 000 hand-pruned boxwoods, with viewpoints, rockeries and stone cabins to punctuate the experience of walking through the stunning gardens.

Marqueyssac will then pass the bottle on to La Ballue, close to Mont Saint-Michel.  Here, numerous “outdoor rooms,” are linked by stunningly designed vistas and spaces filled with imaginative topiary, to add a sense of mystery and wonder.  The dramatic, whimsical design features three-dimensional, organic shapes and groups of sculpted allegorical figures in movement.

La Ballue will again mark the bottle’s arrival before sending it on to the next topiary relay garden involved, with the bottle moving from one to another, until it returns to Levens Hall and Gardens in time for World Topiary Day, on Sunday May 12.

On that day, there will be a topiary themed art workshop in the gardens, provided by artist Bob Sutcliffe OBE, who has a season long display of artworks within the Levens Hall gardens.  There will also be special World Topiary Day garden tours by head gardener, Chris Crowder, which are not available at any other time of year.

Richard Bagot says: “We are delighted by how many gardens have embraced World Topiary Day and our message in a bottle initiative further helps bring the global topiary community together.  We look forward to seeing social media posts, as the bottle makes its way from garden to garden.”

Any British garden wishing to take part in the relay, once the bottle returns to Britain, should email WTD@catapultpr.co.uk

More information about World Topiary Day can be found at www.levenshall.co.uk

Contact Information
Press calls: Jane Hunt, Catapult PR, 0333 2424062 – jane@catapultpr.co.uk