Topiary is a landscaping design concept in which specific plants and trees are sculpted into pleasing arrangements without harm to the vegetation. It is considered both an art and a design concept. This activity takes a lot of patience and work; a designer must train the plant, shrub, or ornamental tree and guide its growth while clipping off parts which do not match with the desired design. The result is amazingly beautiful when seen in a home garden. Evergreen plants are the most used to create topiary art. You can use both existing, hardy shrubs or new plants, guiding them as they grow using metal topiary shapes.
Types of trees for topiary art
Several types of trees and shrubs can be used in topiary, depending on the area. The Grecian Laurel is a tree which grows slowly but can attain heights of 40 feet. Its leaves are oval in shape and leathery, with little yellow flowers in spring that are followed soon after by purple fruits. The Grecian Laurel is very tolerant of aggressive pruning and is easy to form into cones or globe shapes. An ornamental topiary tree can be made from the Thuja Pilcata, which comes in smaller varieties, ideal for decks and entryways. Some species of holly, such as the Yaupon Holly, have soft leaves with smooth tips for easier trimming. They are great for the winter season, and work well in shady spots.
Shrubs for topiary
Topiary art can be made from shrubs such as the Myrtle. This shrub grows lots of flowers towards the end of summertime, and the plant can be clipped into various shapes and ornamental looks. The Bay Laurel is very responsive to pruning, which makes it another good topiary plant. By pruning, a Bay Laurel can retain the desired shape and size. Then there is the privet, which is one of the most common plants used for topiary. These are semi-evergreen shrubs, and can be use to create privacy hedges and topiary arrangements.