The topiary we see at stately houses is always massive and far beyond the capability of one individual, but smaller examples are a different matter. Shaping a small bush can be an interesting project. If you need a guide to help with the shape there are wire frames that can be placed around the bush. I came across an article by Kathy Woodard on The Garden Glove website which explains the process.
Formal, fanciful or modern, garden topiaries make one take notice. They do have a bad rap though, for being high maintenance.??You don?t need a team of well paid gardeners and a palatial estate to have these in your yard. In fact, you can make them yourself! We won?t lie, you do have to keep them up. But a little bit of trimming and clipping is nothing compared to what they give back. So check out these DIY garden topiary projects, get one (or two!) started of your own, and send us photos of your creations! Our featured photo below, is from the?Royal Ch?teau of Amboise?gardens in France.
There are a few ways to DIY a garden topiary, depending on what effect you are looking for and how much work you want to put into it. Here are the basics for trimming a shrub into fun shapes. The tutorials that follow have more in-depth directions.
Choose your shrub.
Evergreen broadleaf shrubs such as boxwood, yew and privet are the best shrubs to start with. Ivy also can be trained into topiary shapes with a frame.
Choose your shape.
Formal topiaries tend to be a geometric shape, a standard, a globe, a spiral or a pyramid shape. These are probably the best place for a beginner to start.
Wire, or wireless?
Nope, not shopping for bras here ladies. You can either purchase or make a wire frame to create a structure for the shape, or you can choose to go wireless and trim freehand. Wire frames are also necessary if you are using an ivy plant.
Shape your topiary.
If you are using ivy you will be growing the ivy to fit inside the frame. If you are doing a shrub topiary, you will be pruning the shrub as it grows to fit within the frame.
Take care of your plant!
Topiaries bought from a nursery are very expensive, based on the amount of time it takes to bring them to maturity. You wouldn?t let an expensive shrub die for lack of care, so don?t treat your DIY topiary any differently! Water them regularly, watch for signs of pest and treat promptly, and plant in good soil.
See more at The Garden Glove