The Thai tradition of topiary or ‘mai dut’ goes back hundreds of years to the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya periods. Drawing on influences from Chinese landscaping and Japanese bonsai design, the Thai form of topiary has developed its own unique style. Some temple gardens in Thailand incorporate themes from the Buddha’s life and it is not unusual to see bushes shaped like deer which represent the deer park where the Buddha gave his first sermon. In private gardens and hotel complexes, elephant designs are always popular and show the traditional importance of the elephant in Thai culture.
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