| Topiary is
art of 'sculpting' shrubs into a well defied
shape. To many people, it brings to mind
the conical shapes seen in formal gardens
- to still more, it conjoures up images
of the giant mickey mouse heads at disney
Whatever the image in your head, topiary
is a rewarding hobby if you have a space
and a little patience.
Plants - The first step
is to get the right plant. Every plant
can be cut and trimmed, but some don't
do well with it and might just kick the
bucket after a good cut and blow. Junipers,
other conifers, hollies, rosemary, and
yew are the most popular.
Pick a small specimen of whatever you've
chosen. Not only will it acclimatise quicker,
but they also tend to grow faster, too,
meaning you can get to the cutting, sooner.
Equipment You'll Need
- First of all, a good pair of shears
or hand pruners is necessary. Scissors
also come in handy.
- One rule which is hard and fast; do
not clip when there's a hint of frost.
Especially on more established trees,
where frost on an exposed end could mean
5 years work down the drain. May to september
are the optimal times. Little and often
is the best way. As has been said of many
things, you can cut more off, but you
can't put it back on.
- As for the shape, that's up to you.
Simple, geometric shapes are best for
beginners as they are easiest to cut,
but you can let your imagination run wild.
If you want a six foot tall mickey mouse
in the garden, then who are we to tell
you not to have one?
The most popular shapes for topiary are
pom-pom, poodle-tier, and cones - these
are simple. Animal forms, spirals, and
others are a bit more difficult - you'll
need a good eye. Here's some ideas:
- Single Ball