From the times of Roman Empire to the present day topiaries have been the artistic perfection of a
gardener. The imposing and bold shapes the plants can be trained into are a delightful sight in any
garden. The plants normally used for creating topiaries are usually evergreen with very dense growth of
small leaves or needles such as privet, yew, holly and box. Even if you do not have a proper garden you
can easily plant one in a container, let it grow and shape it into anything you want. Container topiaries
can be complemented by relaxed growth of colorful wild flower plants at the bottom.
Plan and Decide the Shape
The first thing to do before starting is to decide what shape you want for your topiary. Since you are a
beginner choose a shape that can be easily achieved. Instead of going for complex shapes of animals,
birds or such, try geometric shapes. It’s not possible to go wrong with them and they also look classy as
well as aesthetically appealing.
Check Your Shears
Before you start cutting the plant make sure you check your shears. Trimming the stems or branches
improperly can lead to bruises and damage and is also not a good sight. The shears have to be sharp and
must give a clean cut when used. Sharpen them if they feel blunt. Another thing to consider is the
hygiene. Always clean the shears before and after pruning so that you will not pass on any diseases from
the plant you previously pruned. If there are thick stems or branches use secateurs instead of shears for
a clean cut.
Begin With the Long Shoots
Now that you’ve decided planned your shape and got your shears start trimming away the long shoots
that are protruding away from the main body of the plant. This gives you a clear view of the plant’s
actual structure. Once that’s done, make a rough trim of the plant’s surface, keeping the stems a little
longer than the actual size you need, instead of going for precise measurements as there is no going
back if you give it a wrong cut.
If your shape includes straight lines, install straight canes or sticks around the plant and tie strings so
that you can guide your shears along it. This helps you maintain consistency of levels. You can also install
your own custom pointers to help you keep track of the heights and lengths of your topiaries.
Clean as You Go
Once you are immersed in your topiary crafting it’s quite easy to get lost and forget about everything
else. But, always try to remember to clean up as you go. Brush away the cut leaves and stems that get
stuck in the plant so that you will not confuse them with still attached ones.
Also don’t forget to comb the surface for any odd stem tucked away among other branches. Cut them as
well so they won’t grow out and change the shape of your topiary. Now all that is left now is to stand
aside and admire the wonderful topiary art you’ve just created.
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This article was written by Sharpex Blog Team
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