Trimming Tradition: An Introduction to Topiary for Beginners

Living Magazines Topiary

Whether you already have your own landscaping or gardening business, or you are thinking of starting a new venture, the demand for topiary means it’s a fantastic skill to learn and an impressive service you can offer to clients.

This article will break down the topiary basics and offer you handy tips to help you master this horticultural practice.

Choose the right plants

One of the first things you need to consider is the types of plants and trees that you want to work with that will give you the best results. Some of the best plants and trees that respond well to pruning and shaping are yew, holly, boxwood, and rosemary to name a few.

These plants have dense foliage and tend to be more forgiving when it comes to trimming, which is particularly helpful when you are just learning the practice of topiary.

You will also want to think carefully about the growth rate of certain plants and trees, as slow-growing plants will generally require less maintenance and pruning, while fast-growing variations will need more attention to make sure you keep the desired shape.

Use high-quality tools

You want the service you provide to be of the highest quality and to do so, you need to make sure that the tools and equipment you use are too.

Investing in first-rate landscaping tools such as shears, trimmers, and topiary frames will allow you to work efficiently. For more difficult topiary tasks, opt for more precise tools such as battery laser level to make sure that you create shapes that are clearly defined.

It’s also important that you maintain your tools and clean them regularly, as this will help to prevent the spread of diseases between different plants.

Start with a simple shape

It may be tempting to try and experiment with unique and complicated designs when learning topiary for the first time, but the best thing you can do is start small.

Try your hand at creating simple, geometric shapes to begin with, such as cones, spheres, and cylinders. These shapes are not only easier to create using your tools, but they are also a lot easier to maintain. You can also use topiary frames which will help guide you as you prune and shape your plants and trees and allow you to achieve a more uniform shape.

Practise regular maintenance

Topiary is all about creating incredibly sharp and defined shapes, so you need to make sure you keep on top of their maintenance. Trim and prune your plants and trees regularly to avoid them getting out of hand, and this will save you having to spend more time re-shaping them once they have completely lost their shape if left for weeks or months at a time.

Consider environmental factors

Ensure your topiary plants have the right amount of sunlight and are watered regularly so they can flourish. Each plant or tree may require different levels of care, so make sure you know the individual needs of your chosen species.