Saturday, July 29, 2017

top topiaries

Most who know me, understand I crave structure and order, and prefer symmetry over the organic, go-with-the-flow style of design. My passion for hedges is epic, just one look at my front yard with its Wax Privet hedge framed by a lower Variegated Boxwood hedge is only outdone by the tall Schipka Laurel hedge in the backyard.

I prefer the simplicity of an all green garden. However, this look can be pretty understated (boring to some I suppose), so I look for ways to add texture and interest - this search is what brought me years ago to shaped boxwood and all things topiary.

A topiary is a sculpture made from a tree or shrub. The shapes vary from simple geometric like the topiary ball to more elaborate sculptures in shapes of animals and mythical creatures.

Adding smaller versions of these sweet potted plants to the house is super easy as just about any garden, nursery or grocery store sells them. Due to their petite size, they are easy to add into your tablescapes, on kitchen counters, window sills, just about anywhere!

Grouping various topiaries together creates a
simple, yet impactful statement.
Lavender makes a beautiful summertime topiary

My love for all things English took me to the traditional boxwood plant for my outdoor containers. I prefer them shaped into big round balls, but the spiral or cone shape are fun too! Just about any close growing, tight, small leaf shrub can make a great topiary. Cedar, Cyprus and Holly work well, as do my two personal favorites Rosemary and French Lavender.

Simple, yet so captivating - I love how
there's no place to hide for this design.
Repetition is the key to keeping this interesting.
Rosemary makes for a beautiful, and wild topiary!
Lovely Lavender planted in a French terra-cotta urn. 

I get such a kick seeing what talented artists can do, and while I don't have the space to create these marvelous shapes, I love the idea that there are folks in our world that take the time to create these living pieces of joy out of green! How clever we can be!

The above topiaries, while so cool, aren't that practical for in-city lots :)! Here are a few smaller installations of shaped topiaries. 

Love this Tee Pee Tree
Most topiaries are designed out of trees or shrubs, but you can also use a wire shape and grow a plant to fill in that shape, trimming as it fills in. This allows you to create fun animal shapes. You can also plant these frames with succulents like hens-and-chickens. 

The elaborate designs shown earlier require a skilled gardener, but shaping your smaller backyard plants into a round, sphere or conical shape can be done relatively easily. You will need -

A pair of long handled shears,  a pair of topiary shears (pictured below) and a template for your shape. Hand trimming is always best. Start by rough shaping the design with the long handled shears....reference this link for more details on designing your own topiary. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. Until next time,

la chasse au bonheur