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March 1, 2022
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April 1, 2022

Tiptop Topiary

Show off your garden mastery skills with stunning topiary plants, pruned to stylish perfection.

Top tip: Most evergreen shrubs can be trained to grow into any shape or direction. All you need is some imagination and a good set of shears.

Get the look

Lollipop: Choose a tall, bushy plant with a strong main stem. Stake the plant well to help it grow upright. Start shaping the head by cutting back stems to about 2 to 3 nodes and clearing the main stem of all other growth. Plant picks: Abutilon, anisodontea, brunfelsia, and Murraya exotica.

Poodle-cut: Go for a slim but bushy plant and stake it securely. Visualise where the dense leaf growth will form the three ‘poodle-cut’ spheres. Shape your balls beginning at the base and clear all other growth. Plant picks: Duranta ‘Sheena’s Gold’, cherry laurel, Cypress, and pittosporum.

Spirals: Choose a slim conifer and challenge yourselfwith this design. You will need a long, strong stake around which the plant will be twisted, creating the spirals. Complete the look by cleaning around the twists to maintain their spiral shape. Plant picks: Juniperus scopulorum ‘Skyrocket’ and all other pencil conifers.

Try these topiary styles: Parterres, mazes, labyrinths, knot gardens, espalier, frames, hedging, shapes, and cute animals.

More terrific topiary plants

Foliage-dense for pruning: Duranta gold, syzygium paniculatum, ficus varieties, ligustrum undulatum, as well as lemon and lime trees. Feed plants monthly with a 2:1:2 fertiliser and mulch around the base with organic plant material.

Flowering bushes for shaping: Solanum, fuchsias, freylinia, hibiscus, and westringia. Feed plants monthly with a 3:1:6 fertiliser. As soon as they start shooting new branches, cut them back to give them a fuller, more compact shape.

A secret suggestion: Busy lifestyle? Go for life-like, maintenance-free, faux topiaries as patio and indoor décor.

Beginners topiary choice: Practice your shaping skills on fast-growing and affordable rosemary bushes in containers.  

Source: Life is a Garden