Planning a Topiary Project


If you are planning to start a topiary project, it is worth bearing in mind that it is quicker to adapt an existing hedge or bush rather than starting from scratch. Whilst it may take about 4 years to clip and train a hedge into a piece of topiary, it could take up to 10 years to create the same shape from planting.

Planning Your Design

Plan the design beforehand, and try to keep the shape simple to begin with - especially if you are a beginner. Once created, simple shapes can be developed over time into more complex designs. Cones and pyramids are often best to start with; as well as being easy to create, they look good in any formal situation. In addition, as they are narrower at the top, they will allow light and moisture to reach the base of the plant. More complex designs, such as birds and animals should be created using specially shaped wire structures to act as your clipping guide.

Choosing the Site

If you are starting a project from scratch and plan to plant your hedge or tree, make sure that you choose your site carefully. You will need a sunny position, well prepared soil, and easy access to all sides of the plant. Most importantly of all, ensure that you find a position where the topiary shape can be seen easily.

The word 'topiary' derives from the Latin word for an ornamental landscape gardener, 'topiarius'.