Topiary plants are a form of living sculpture, where plants are trimmed to take fancy and imaginative forms. This art form, practiced in ancient Rome and the Far east, is still wildly popular today. So, how does it work?
Topiary plants are perennials that are actually “trained” to maintain a certain form by trimming them. Certain types of plants are favored for this practice. Woody, evergreens, with small leaves or needles are the most common choices for topiary.
Plants can take a number of shapes of varying complexity and originality, from simple geometric shapes, to animals, or complicated patterns. Hedges are in fact a type of topiary, and probably the most common and simple.
In modern topiary steel frames are often employed as cutting guides. These allow beginners to grow complicated forms, which eventually grow into the frame and become permanent. Otherwise topiary is done free hand. This requires patience and lots of practice. Experts in the field can be considered artists; they put as much care and thought into their works as any sculptor or painter.
Topiary plants can really give your garden that wow factor that will impress your neighbors and friends. If you are not a master with a pair of hedge clippers, don’t worry; you have plenty of options. You can use a metal frame that will serve as a guide to cutting and help force the plants growth until it is properly trained.
You can also take the same metal frame and grow ivy or another vined plant over the frame. Over time the ivy will become thick enough that the frame will be hidden and it will create the illusion of a true topiary plant.
If you want the look of true topiary plant you can hire professionals. For hedges regular landscapers should be able to help you, but for more complicated shapes you may need to look for specialists in the art. This can be quite expensive depending on the size and complexity of your project, but if you find the right artist it can be well worth it.