Topiary Garden

How to Create a Topiary Garden

Topiary Garden-a-peacock
A Topiary Peacock

Creating a topiary garden can be so exciting because these gardens are so unique using plant materials to create shapes from humans to animals, insects, etc… Its believed that these gardens first came about during the early English days many, many years ago but as old as these gardens are they are still making waves with their unique style as they capture the hearts of people worldwide.

Topiary can be used as a focal point to bring a garden design together, while I must say and I am sure you will agree is these garden types do take some imagination and creativity. I have seen so many of these designs which are a real show stopper so for more on topiary gardens let’s take a closer look.

Tools for a topiary garden

  • Hand Pruner
  • Scissors
  • Pole Saw
  • Hedge Shears
  • Long-Handle Shears
  • Grass Shears
  • Gas Power tools
  • Battery operated or Electric tools

All of these tools are not a must and should only be use base on the size of your topiary garden.

The best choice of plants for a topiary garden

These are just a few plants that can be used to create a topiary garden.

1. Ficus Benjamina

Topiary Garden
Topiary Garden

2. Vines.

3. Shrubs.

4. Herbs.

5. Hedges.

6. Cypress

7. Boxwood.

8. Marguerite.

9. Angle’s Trumpets.

10. Dwarf Alberta Spruce.

11. California Lilac.

Growing topiary in your garden

Growing and caring for topiary in a garden setting can be really stunning, these designs can serve as a focal point or centerpiece that will add to the overall beauty of your garden design. As discussed earlier creating such designs calls for a creative imagination but don’t overthink this process just go for it and with much practice, your landscapes and gardens will look so amazing.

The rules of creating topiary are the same as plant basics are concern choose the right plant for the right location, give the right amount of water with the right amount of fertilizer is a must to grow a healthy topiary. Garden insect pests will also take an interest in your topiary not because they admire your work of art but because they are seeking to make a meal out of your plants.

Proper insect identification along with implementing the right management practices is so important. Before using chemicals read and follow the manufacture’s label.

Growing topiary from a container

A great and popular way to grow and care for topiary is from containers, the container should be large enough for your topiary to sit comfortably especially as it matures. The container should have drain holes to allow for water drainage, the soil should be the right type for your choice of topiary plant. Fertilize your topiary as needed, having the right tools is so important to create and maintain the shape of your topiary. Don’t allow overgrown branches, each part of the plant should be trimmed where an even flow is created keeping in mind as you trim plants to maintain its form.

Pruning tools should be sharp for clean cuts along with being well lubricated for ease of use. Keep an eye out for insect pests and treat as needed because insect pests can become a real issue.

Growing topiary indoors

When growing topiary indoors install in an area with the right lighting conditions. The right amount of water is so important because it is a known fact that many indoor plants die either from a lack or too much water. Inspect soil for dryness before giving your topiary a drink and ensure that the container has drain holes for water to drain and a saucer to catch water as it drains from holes. Provide the right amount of air circulation by placing your topiary near a south, east, or west window, keep an eye out for garden insect pests and treat once spotted and identified with insecticidal soap or the appropriate pesticide. Before applying insecticides read and follow the manufacture’s label. Providing the right type of fertilizer in the right amount will also help greatly.

The use of frames

For the beginner gardener, it’s best to use frame forms to grow your topiary these frames will serve as a guide, a great plant to use are vines. Once the vine is planted around the frame it will run up and around the frame, once it starts to grow, as the vine continues to grow before trimming it back to the shape of the frame wait until the entire frame is covered then with tools take your time to begin to trim vine using the frame as a guide.

The use of sphagnum moss

Sphagnum moss is best known for its ability to retain moisture, a popular plant that uses sphagnum moss are orchids. Sphagnum moss can also be used to grow the topiary. Once you have chosen the frame that you want for your topiary place it in the right location, place your sphagnum moss in water, before removing ensure that it’s completely soaked.

Once the moss has been soaked begin to place or stuff your frame, once you are completed stuffing your frame with the moss wrap moss with florist wire or fishing line to hold the moss in space.

You can leave as is or to further add to the appearance of your topiary frame install plants. To do this create small holes in the moss, add soil and then place your plants in the soil packing the soil with moist sphagnum.

Garden insect pests of topiary plants

Remember topiary are garden plants only with different forms that are man-made which means they can have insect issues like any other garden plant. Base on your plant species you may encounter these garden pests here are just a few that you may come across.

Garden insect pests of ficus benjamin

Topiary Garden-topiary-garden-design
Topiary Garden design
  • Whiteflies
  • Mealybugs
  • Thrips
  • Scales
  • Spider mites

Garden pest of some vines

  • Aphids
  • Scales
  • Thrips
  • Cutworms

Angle’s Trumpets insect pests

  • Mealybugs
  • Whiteflies
  • Thrips

 Garden insect pests of garden herbs

Below are a few garden pests that will make a meal out of your herbs.

  • Spider Mites
  • Whiteflies
  • Scales
  • Aphids
  • Leaf Miner
  • Slugs
  • Snails
  • Japanese Beetle

The use of insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, neem oil, and other listed insecticides will bring these garden insect pests under control. The use of snail bait or handpicking and throwing snails and slugs into a bucket of soapy water will bring under control. There are other listed pesticides that label these garden insect pests which will also cause elimination.

The final word

Growing and caring for topiary is pretty neat, although these plant type may take some work based on the size and style you are sure to have fun as you groom and train your plant to grow into a form that is pleasing to the eyes so whether its the shape of a person, animal, flower or some object these garden plants will bring that much-needed flavor and you will be so happy that you install them as you practice growing and training these plants as in the old English days, give it a try I am sure that you will be happy with the results.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

16 thoughts on “Topiary Garden”

  1. Hello there,thanks for sharing this vital information with us all ideas like this are not easy seen on the internet one has to do a lot of research to get such ideas but thank for sharing this with us I must tell I am working on something already I need some ideas to spice it up and I have gotten them

  2. Thanks a lot for such an amazing review of TOPIARY GARDEN and explanations are given.

    I searched all over the internet for information on this, but I didn’t find much, this is the best. I want to have a garden behind my back, and now I have more ideas.

    Thanks again for this post. If you don’t mind, I will share this article on my social media account. Good luck!

    • Hello, these garden types are so unique and once maintained will increase your property’s value. I am so happy that I could help and thanks so much for passing the word along. Wishing you all the best of success. Have a good day.

  3. Hello Norman, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. I was looking for ideas on how can I make my garden and I stumbled upon your article. It’s great you explained everything in detail, I will wait for better weather to start implementing your tips on making a topiary garden.

    • Hello, Danijel so happy to meet you. These gardens are so unique and will work wonders. All the best to you with your garden project.

  4. Thanks for this lot of information, gardening itself are lot of work and needs high skill. Like you rightly mentioned topiary will needs monitoring like every other plant with water, fertilizer even a right location.

    I once used the frame form but out of my busy schedule, my garden grew wide and there was a lot of trimming to be done.

  5. I’ve always wondered about creating a topiary garden but I hadn’t come across such excellent information on how to do so until now, so I appreciate the information here. With a topiary garden it looks like there is lots of room to get creative, which is right up my alley. Having knowledge of tools such as the pole saw, long handle shears and certain gas power tools I would imagine can be the difference between a good topiary garden and a great one. As far as plants go I really like the sound of vines, cypress, angel’s trumpets and California lilacs to get things started. I’ll bookmark your post as springtime is right around the corner and it makes for a solid reference, thanks!

    • Topiary gardens can be so much fun as you let your imagination run wild with ideas. Having knowledge of tools is also important. Thanks so much for your kind words and I am wishing you the best of success.

  6. Many thanks to you for sharing such an excellent article with us .Gardening I love gardening very much because the beauty of the garden makes me very attractive.But the idea of ​​gardening is not a cheap idea. It is not easy to get this idea. One has to do a lot of research to get this idea.The thing I like most about your registration is how to control pests in the garden.And I must use pesticidal soap, garden oil, neem oil, and other listed pesticides in my garden and control the garden pest.Will share be a new exprience.

  7. Hello,

    Thank you for your comprehensive write up on the subject of Topiary. You write with great authority on it and it is very pleasurable to read about a subject from someone who not only enjoys his subject but takes others who are interested  with them along the journey of learning and finding out more about a particular aspect of the topic. You have also covered all the important surrounding must knows from tools to insecticide in a very in depth way showing what tools are used and may be used to the many different insect life that can affect ones lovingly tended garden. The advice on the many types of plants and herbs that are suitable is most helpful indeed as is the advice how to start them up, the most useful growing containers and what particular plants like to grow in. All in all a very interesting and very enjoyable read, thank you.

    I wonder if you have written a book on the subject as I would be very interested to obtain further insight from your good self. Thank you again,


    • Your words are so encouraging and you have made my day. Thanks so much for your kind words and all the best to you. I have always thought about writing a book but have not gotten there as yet. Thanks again and have a good day.

  8. Having a Topiary garden is really a good idea but this really takes some imaginations and creativity. I love the way it is designed with plants and flowers. The beauty alone is mind-blowing. 

    I believe that there are procedures and steps one will take to ensure doing it the right way starting from choosing the right plant for the right location, etc. You’ve really talked at length about this and there are lots to learn from here. Good job, Norman.


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