How to create impressive topiary
Making a statement in any garden, topiary is a truly green art. Whether you want to draw the eye to a specific area, create some distinctive definition or simply have some fun, you can consider a topiary shape or figure as a piece of living architecture.
To create topiary shapes it's best to choose densely growing, typically evergreen species such as box or yew. Thick branches, branching into finer and finer twigs form the main lines of the finished shape. To train the branches in the right direction, fasten the flexible twigs with wire.
Accurate cutting is the key to maintaining a nicely defined shape and that is best achieved by creating a framework guide to follow. Set the required shape with the aid of taut strings held between canes or build a frame made from strips of wood. Place the frame over the plant and cut off all protruding shoots. It's so easy to create a whole range of shapes, from a straightforward cube to a sphere or a pyramid.
Even standard trees and plants can be trimmed to make them a feature of your garden. Tub plants are particularly suitable for geometric standard shapes.
The best way to make fancy shapes such as animals is to construct a wire netting skeleton over the shrub. Cutting along the wire is no problem. It's important to use an easy to manoeuvre sharp cutter for precision cutting. All projecting shoots should be cut away several times a year to encourage the plant to bush out. How quickly the desired shape is achieved depends on the size and vigour of the selected shrub. It usually takes several years to produce impressive plant sculptures.