Hedge Maze Echoes

There is no beauty without strangeness. Strangeness can be a cast of light falling on a hazy field, a verdant limitless landscape in a foreign land; it can also just be the unfamiliar. Whether city bred or country bred, the alternate feels other. The city hum occurs more fiercely, the never-dark night skies give us different dreams. To a farmer, the daily chores of egg gathering and vegetable tending may seem a familiar routine but may be a stunning shock if never witnessed.

The long history of England allows for a constant examination of these respective environments. In the Eighteenth century, gardens were inspired by an effort to mimic the famous landscape painters' oil botanical musings. Royalty commissioned sprawling fields of wildflowers complete with ponds, roaming sheep and overgrown trees.

Influenced by the bewildering gardens and hedge mazes of Versailles, the practice of hedge maze construction took on a masterful force in England. Landscape architects created a new genre of practice to develop these living sculptures. Initially intended as beautiful paths for the leisure of the wealthy, they soon morphed into a more curious effort. The practice became directed at true mazes intended to confuse their inhabitants. The end goal, the beautiful confusion of being lost in a living puzzle.

Words by Brit Parks
Images from  Chatsworth House garden Osamu Yokonami, Chateau Villandry Jacques Wirtz, Bjork's island in Iceland, Malcolm KirkChristian Wijnants AW05, Landscape FocusedDaniel Terna 
Previous post Next post


  • Beautifully written piece this Sunday! As usual! :)

    Trieksr F. Urkids on
  • Jill, Absolutely love your site with all its varied eye candy. Scintillating. Marcella…after all these years.

    Marcella Rosene on

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published