Although topiary has been around for centuries, the structures are surprisingly modern and will add structure and interest to your garden. But the beauty is you don’t need a private gardener or huge landscape to enjoy topiary – it’s a lot easier than people would think.
All you need to do is buy a pair of shears to keep the topiary bush neatly trimmed all-year round, and you have a perfect doorstep plant. A definite prerequisite however is patience and a steady hand.
Luke Chamberlain, horticultural manager at Dobbies Garden World Edinburgh, offers his advice about how to create the prefect topiary in your garden.
He says: “A clipped box ball is simple to upkeep and can be planted into modern- looking containers.
“To really create impact, repeat identical shapes at regular intervals for a uniform, designer look.
“A hedge is a simple form of topiary used to create boundaries or walls – use low hedges to edge borders and taller shapes to frame paths and doors.”
Here’s some tips for growing success:
• Trim topiary in the spring and autumn to ensure it looks good year-round
• Feed and water potted topiary regularly to keep it green and healthy
• Take topiary from box plants as it’s easy to root and you’ll quickly boost your stock if you’re trying to create a hedge.
• Wire frames allow first-time topiarists to follow simple designs, such as squirrels, dogs, or rabbits!
Here are plants to use for topiary:
• Conifer: Perfect for creating topiary fast as grows quickly. Clip little and often
• Holly: Just the thing for lollipops, pyramids, hedges and balls.
• Beech: Perfect for formal hedges and simple shapes
• Yew: The stuff of grand gardens – grows tall and can be shaped into enormous creations.
• Box: Classic topiary plant used for spirals, pyramids, and no end of animals and novelty shapes.
• Dobbies Garden World, Edinburgh is offering free advice through its Garden Grow-How talks, taking place every Saturday and Sunday between 11am and 2pm.