Topiary 101 - Choosing Plants for Hedge Sculpting

Posted by John Zeaiter on

Do you dream of having a hedge sculpture in your backyard? Perhaps you dream of having a garden decorated by perfectly manicured balloon-like trees, or you wish for your garden to reflect your quirky personality with a hedge elephant, a dragon “ or something else.

Evergreen Growers specialise in hedging, trees, and other plants, and is here to help give tips and tricks on topiary, and help you choose the right trees or hedges for your sculpting project! Read on to learn more.

History of hedge sculpting The tradition of hedge sculpting “ or topiary “ is the art of turning trees and hedges into beautiful sculptures through careful pruning. Said to be invented by a friend of the Roman emperor Augustus, it has been practiced since the 1st century CE and is still a strong tradition today. It has commonly been seen as the relatively quick and inexpensive counterpart to stonemasonry and was favoured in England up until the 17th hundreds because stones were expensive, and leafy trees were abundant.

Choose your hedge and trees carefully The best approach to topiary is to choose what you want from your sculpture before you choose the tree or hedge. The best bet is to go with thick, perennial growths for a year-round beautiful result. If you're looking to plant new plants specifically for pruning and sculpting in the future, consider yew, privet, myrtle, or boxwood species. For Brisbane's hotter climate you may fare best with boxwoods as it is drought tolerant, is evergreen, and enjoys basking in full sunshine. That said, if you already have hedges and other plants in your garden know that most plants can be trimmed into shapes with enough care and dedication!

DIY or trusting a professional We can't all be Edward Scissorhands in a day. If you are new to topiary, it's smart to start with a more basic shape to practice perfecting in order to avoid unfixable mishaps. Pruning trees into artistic shapes is a tricky business, and a wrong move can leave your perfect symmetry a little lopsided. If a perfectly groomed hedge sculpture is to be the pièce de résistance of your garden, perhaps consider hiring a professional who can help you out “ if only to bring out the ideal shape. From there, you can carefully trim it with pruning shears, topiary shears, from atop a sturdy step stool. Got questions before commencing your hedge sculpting? We're here to help. Don't hesitate to reach out to the friendly team at Evergreen Growers for advice!

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