Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Herms Hedge / Nymphaeum...

A nymphaeum was an ancient monument, usually a grotto, dedicated to the nymphs, especially water nymphs. A herm or term was an ancient Roman statue, usually without arms on a pillar-type base, which was placed on boundaries, or where one's property ended - hence terminus. There are lovely examples of such hedges at Kew Gardens and also at Chiswick House.

I like the idea of having an area enclosed by hedging, with herms in niches all around the hedge, which would mark out the boundary between the park gardens and the farm annex. It would form a kind of nymphaeum as well. From my plans below, one can see where the hedges would go. At this stage they are planned to be planted in Prunus laurocerasus - a Laurel-type hedge (yes, thinking of you Millie), but a cultivar of Laurel which is not quite so poisonous (Laurel is quite toxic to animals, even prunings which have been lying about for months on end), thus not a good choice for a farm boundary. Yew and Leilandii are also good choices.

It would have a wooden gate in the middle of the hedge, with statues placed symmetrically around the hedge, with a vista over the gate to the farm, and would be another area which couples could choose from when deciding where to having their wedding ceremony.

Updated 06/08/2010: The Nymphaeum has been shifted to elsewhere in the park. It is still the same design (see below), but has now been planted, with Cupressocyparis ovensii hedging. Its entrance is from the Hydrangea Lawn...

I am reminded of the same titled painting by Adolphe-William Bouguereau, of nymphs cavorting in a Nymphaeum.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds just wonderful! It will make a fabulous backdrop for wedding photographs. I admire your patience though, hedging plants are notoriously slow to grow initially, but once established I swear they grow in front of your very eyes. You will both have a pair of hedge shears permamently tucked into your back pockets to keep the new growth under control. I do love our Laurel Hedge to bits & its worth all the effort.
    Millie ^_^


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