The garden at Fanshawe Gate is at its most spectacular
in mid-summer. In other seasons, before the herbaceous borders come
into flower, the bare bones of the underlying architecture are more
evident. In 1995 it was decided to add some green sculpture, in
the form of topiary, to maintain visual interest throughout the
Topiary recalls an earlier tradition of gardening,
with an emphasis on shape and space. At Fanshawe Gate, the clipped
yews reflect the stone acorns of the gateposts, or are used to punctuate
a terrace. Some are designed to entertain, cut into a spiral or
a waterfall. Others mark an entrance.
A different form of topiary can be found on the site
of the old vegetable garden, behind the dovecote. Here a knot garden
has been planted in two shades of box. Now ten years old, the twining
shapes are clearly seen.