Beautifying Your Garden With Topiary

Topiary is the art of clipping trees or shrubs into beautiful ornamental shapes. Dating back to Roman times, this is a practise that has long been popular. However, back then topiary was considered only suitable for formal gardens. This is definitely not the case anymore! Shrub shaping offers an effective way of updating any outdoor space. With the wealth of shapes and designs available, there is something for everyone. You can easily bring a classic and elegant feel to your garden, or you can go for an urban contemporary edge. The choice is yours. Nevertheless, no matter what shapes and styles you choose, your garden will command attention for all of the right reasons. Topiary definitely brings a five star edge. If you have never practised this gardening technique before, this post is just for you. Read on to discover all you need to know…

What shape are you going to go for?
The first thing you need to do is decide what form you wish your topiary to take. This is undoubtedly half the fun, as there are so many options to choose from. This includes everything from simple shapes, such as boxes and cones, to animal topiary, such as dogs and hedgehogs. The choices for your garden are endless. However, it is recommended that you opt for simpler shapes to begin with. Once you become familiar with the art of shrub shaping you can then experiment with different designs. Considering where your topiary is going to be displayed is important as well. For example, a lot of people opt for a matching pair of topiary to decorate one of their property’s entrances. If this is something that appeals to you, you should opt for an elegant and slender shape, such as a pyramid. Anything too bulky will be overpowering.

Choosing the right container 
One mistake a lot of people make when practising topiary for the first time is choosing the wrong plant container. This is because people simply underestimate the importance of choosing this item carefully. However, your pot needs to be appropriate for the scale and size of the topiary, otherwise it will detract from the overall design. Generally, it is best to opt for a container that is one third of the height of the topiary. It is also important to ensure the plant pot you select is made from a good quality material. You have plenty of options to choose from. Terracotta and metal are both good choices, as is wood. Stretton oak tubs are popular because you can use these for containers, as well as being decorative items placed around your garden to bring the whole look together. Most people tend to opt for a simple and classic container design, as the topiary is the main attraction, and then more decorative oak items for other spots in their garden.

Making your own topiary frame
If you take a look on the Internet you will see that there is a wealth of topiary frames available to purchase. However, a lot of people like to create their own. In order to do this you will require some chicken wire and some wire cutters. It will also be beneficial if you have something you can use as a mold for your first topiary, such as a football. Begin by cutting the wire into pieces that are big enough to wrap around the mold. You should then wrap the wire around the object with a one inch overlap. Don’t forget to wear gloves for this! Once you have done this you will need to secure each overlap. The best way to do this is by using short lengths of garden twist tie. Your frame is pretty much finished. Easy, right? Well, wait until you start experimenting with animal topiary…

Securing the frame into the soil
The next thing you need to do is get your hands on two or three garden stakes. Run these through your topiary from bottom to top and make sure they protrude out of either end. After all, you will need at least six inches of garden stake to secure the frame into the soil. What about the stake sticking out of the top of the frame? This can easily be trimmed once you have completed the project. However, it’s unlikely you will need to do this, as your choice of vine will grow and cover the tip. One handy tip is to fill your finished frame with Spanish moss. This is an excellent source of moisture.

Assembling your topiary 
Last but not least, the only thing you need to do now is assemble your topiary. Take your container and fill with soil and water until damp. You are then going to plant your chosen vine. Ivy is a popular choice. After this, stick your frame into the pot. Be gentle when doing this as you will need to carefully ease the plants in. The weaving of the plant tendrils through the chicken wire is something you will need to do on a regular basis as your plant is growing. And finally, if you notice your topiary is growing lopsided, simply rotate the plant pot. It may simply be because one side is getting more sunlight than the other.

So there you have it, all you need to know to get started on some stunning topiary! Classic cones or bold boxes, what will it be? No matter what design you go for, there is no denying that topiary can add a fun yet elegant touch to your garden. Plus, you will gain a great sense of pride once you make your own!