Terrific topiaries

Create a unique garden design with topiaries…Home garden topiary

Topiaries are decorative plants made by trimming, weaving or training plants and shrubs into just about any ornamental shape you desire. Invented by the early Romans, topiaries, big and small, often take the form of boxes, domes, squiggles or triangles. However, complicated shapes, such as elephants and unicorns are also possible after some practice, transforming your home garden with natural sculptures, or adding some elegant greenery to your home building’s indoors. There are three main types of topiaries: traditional, trained and sphagnum topiaries. Here’s what you need to know about each one:


Traditional topiaries

This is the ornamental shaping of freestanding trees and shrubs. While traditional topiaries can stand on their own as the feature of your home garden, they can also be used to highlight other features, like fountains, stonework or pretty plants. Those home gardeners with patience and green fingers can create traditional topiaries in a number of ways: while some opt for freehand clipping, using only their eye as a guide, others use frames to determine the shapes of their plants. Some topiarists train young, growing plants into desired shapes over many years, while others save time by purchasing mature plants and pruning them into the shapes they want.

Home garden traditional topiary home garden trained ivy

Trained topiaries

People with space and time limitations may find this type of topiary the most accessible. Topiarists using this method train trailing plants, such as ivy, to grow around two and three-dimensional wire frames to enhance their garden design, or to bring indoor spaces to life. You can create many shapes, from geometric forms to animal figures, and even corporate logos, with this type of topiary.

Sphagnum topiaries

home garden sphagnumSphagnum topiaries do not have roots in the ground. Instead, they are made from self-supporting vines that grow on sturdy sculpted metal frames. Home gardeners stuff the frames with sphagnum moss, and then prune and intricately shape the plants growing out of moss-filled frames into their desired shapes. By using creeping plant­s on the outside of the frame, you can complete a sphagnum topiary in just a few months. Create interesting visual effects by using different plants on different parts of the topiary, and adapt the size of the frame shapes, depending on whether you’d like a large outdoor freestanding structures or a table-top decoration for your home’s indoors. Unfortunately, living sphagnum moss is not always readily available in South Africa.

Compiled by Kayla Myburgh for Fix Shack’s Home Inspirations. Source: How Stuff Works, Houzz, wiseGEEK, eHow, Garden Guides, Chameleon Interiors, Landscaping Network and Daily Fix.

Learn how to make your own DIY topiary, and find the garden products you may need or locate your nearest landscaper!

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