Topiary

topiary

Topiary n 1 the art of trimming trees or bushes into artificial or decorative shapes

Topiary is most probably fondly remembered in most minds for the ye olde grande gardens of the mid 19th Century. But and possibly of surprise to some, the origins of topiary date way back to the times of Julius Caesar. Over the centuries and like all things gardening [or not] there are trends and it did [and does] fall in and out of fashion. Trends aside, there is something ye olde gardener in topiary and/ or by its definition, trimming bushes, that is romantic and very much separates the can do from the cannot.

Gardening skills aside and at a point in modern life where the popularity of cutting a domestic garden hedge may be queried, it is hard to see an en mass revival of this skill. That said, it makes me quite proud that I can take the cutting of a hedge exact, straight and by line of sight to an echelon above.

The images above here are from my own garden, planted to remember my first dog Bobby. Silly as it sounds, maybe, I think he’d be quite pleased knowing that his tree wasn’t just any old shrub.

If you do fancy giving topiary a go remember:

  • practice makes perfect
  • patience is king
  • you cannot sellotape cuts made back on

For the above I used a petrol hedge cutters first, then a shears and finally a secateurs. The stages are, obviously, noted in photograph back to front.

In the above photograph I have used Thuja and in my image below you can see Buxus semprevirens [box] and Laurus nobilis [bay laurel]. If you are thinking of planting hedging or trees now is the perfect time to do so whilst temperatures are still in single figures.

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formal hedge

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