How to Topiary with Guidance from the Nursery or Garden Centre
Topiary can be a fun and interesting way to spend your time. If you're interested in how to topiary and learn to shape nursery plants into elegant shapes it isn't difficult to learn.
For those not willing to start from scratch, you may be able to find an existing plant at your local garden centre.
These may be whimsical animal forms or they can be more abstract in design.
However you decide to proceed, you'll find that topiary can be a useful skill in landscaping and gardening.
For special occasions, you can also look into plant rental where you simply rent the topiary that you need. Tree hire is a good alternative to growing your own plants from scratch.
There are two types of topiary, vine and pruning. We'll take a look at these how to topiary methods in turn.
This is a method that requires quite a bit of patience, but not a lot of skill, so it's excellent for those who are just learning how to topiary. You'll need a topiary form from the garden centre and a good, fast growing vine. One of the best choices for this technique is English ivy, as it is rather hardy and grows quickly. Ask your local nursery what they have that would be suitable.
Set up your topiary form where you want it.
You have a choice to either plant the vines directly in the ground around the form, or you may prefer to have it potted.
If you choose potted, you can set up the pots so that the points or legs of the topiary form sit in them, which will help cover the origin.
You may leave the forms as they are and wait for the ivy to grow up and over them, but if you want the topiary to look nice faster, it helps to fill the forms with sphagnum moss.
This will give some green to fill in the spaces between leaves until the vines are properly established.
This method does require ongoing work. You will need to help train the vines to the form and prune anything that starts to get too wild.
This will require a little time each week until the form is completely covered. After this, regular pruning will help the vines keep their shape and look neat.
The second how to topiary method is pruning a plant to the shape you want. You will need sharp pruning shears and a good topiary bush. Nearly any bushy shrub works for this, but check out what your garden centre offers for plant rentals to get some ideas.
You can start with a small, decorative shrub in a pot, or go for a larger bush or tree that is already well established. These are ready available from any nursery. For your first try, you might want to start small.
Many professional gardeners use forms that they can set over top of the bush to help them trim, but you can also freehand it.
Consider the shape you want and the existing shape of the shrub. Then begin to trim it.
If you prune away too much at a time, the shrub will die off, so it's important to trim just 1-3 inches, depending on the size of the bush.
This will be enough to encourage leafy growth, but not kill the branches. Getting the shape you want may take several months, depending on how overgrown the bush is.
Once it has been pruned to the shape you want, you can trim it every 3 months to keep the shrub looking neat and shapely.
Learning how to topiary is all about patience, but if you're in a hurry, you might consider plant rental for a special occasions.
Your local nursery or garden centre should have everything you need for starting in topiary.