How to Create a Topiary Garden
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
- 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
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
- Spider mites
Garden pest of some vines
Angle’s Trumpets insect pests
Garden insect pests of garden herbs
Below are a few garden pests that will make a meal out of your herbs.
- Spider Mites
- Leaf Miner
- 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.
About the author
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.