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A knot garden is exactly what it sounds like–a formal garden laid out to resemble a decorative knot. The concept is known to date back to Elizabethan times and may be even more ancient. Renaissance knot gardens consisted of square compartments planted with different herbs and aromatic plants, however, as gardening developed, knot gardens took on more and more of the formal decorative elements of parterre gardens. Although today’s knot gardens are often based around boxwood parterres or other formally clipped topiary hedges, many knot gardens still have an herbal component as a reminder of Renaissance knot gardens (which were meant to have a culinary medicinal, and even magical purposes).
Here is a little gallery of various pretty knot gardens from around the world (although they mostly seem to be English).