April in the GardenApril 1, 2023
Plant MomsMay 1, 2023
Show off your garden mastery skills with stunning topiary plants, pruned to stylish perfection. 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