|Knot gardens gained popularity in England during the 16th and 17th centuries.
A horticultural treat awaits you at the glorious Historic Gardens
in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. It is composed of various
themed garden areas that reflect the history of the region,
the first permanent European settlement in North America.
The knot garden represents a fascinating type of formal garden
that first became popular in Tudor England (1485-1603). Depictions
on Italian woodcuts from the late 15th century show that Italy
was likely the influence for these early English gardens,
which developed and flourished throughout the 16th and 17th
centuries. The knot at the Historic Gardens features an intricate
geometric woven design formed by carefully clipped lavender
hedges and sections filled with colored materials, including
stones, charcoal and crushed shells.
The garden's horticulturist Karen Achenbach explained that
knot gardens historically symbolized unity and strength, with
the knot being the tie or bond. The orderly design set within
a square supported the principle that a harmonious relationship
should exist between the architecture of the house and that
of the garden. Both building and garden required a geometric
Knot gardens were meant to be viewed and appreciated from
elevated vantage points so that the overall pattern could
be seen clearly. The designs were adapted from decorative
interlocked motifs used in tapestries, carpets, ceramics,
carved wooden panels and furnishings. The gardens varied in
size. They could be completely enclosed by a square or
rectangular hedge with compartments for colored materials
that highlighted the hedge pattern or they could be open
with pathways incorporated into the design and sections filled
with aromatic or colorful low-growing plants.