‘Topiary’ refers to evergreen plants that are clipped or trained into an extensive range of shapes and sizes. They have classy looks and year-round appeal. These strikingly architectural plants suit a range of locations in the garden, from pots and front gardens to raised beds, borders, and hedges.
What is topiary?
Topiary is the term used to describe plants that are trimmed and trained into a variety of distinct, architectural shapes. These can be as simple as traditional topiary shapes such as balls, cones, and standards (these are usually a ball shape on a clear stem) to more complex topiary shapes like animals, birds, and other creatures. The art of topiary has been practised for at least two thousand years, going in and out of fashion, varying from a garden art form depicting figures, animals, ships, even hunt scenes, to simple shapes and knot gardens.
Where to place topiary plants
Topiary plants are perfect for high-profile spots close to the home that are on view all year round, or by frequently used places like summerhouses, seating areas and pathways. Topiary is a top choice for front gardens and a pair of identical plants flanking a doorway or gate has a timeless appeal. Small topiary balls are a long-lived decorative option for window boxes, while bigger ones can help add winter interest to a border. In patio pots or raised beds, topiary shapes make excellent standalone features or create handsome contrasts to seasonal flowers.
Best plants for topiary
The best plants to use for topiary are small-leaved evergreen shrubs that respond well to trimming and which look good all year round. While Box (Buxus sempervirens) has long been the traditional choice for small topiary, especially balls, its susceptibility to
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From the Greek pyr, fire, probably with reference to fever, since the plant was used medicinally to assuage fever (Compositae). These hardy plants are admirable for a sunny border and last well as cut flowers. Long known as pyrethrum they are botanically classified under Chrysanthemum.
The students have returned to school, your mailbox is crammed with a new crop of seed catalogs, the leaves are falling, and the days are getting shorter. Drive by your local garden center or roadside stand and the displays are filled with ornamental kales and cabbages. Autumn has arrived.
From the Greek helios, the sun, and anthemon. a flower (Cistaceae). Sun Rose. A genus of evergreen and semi-evergreen shrubs, sub-shrubs, perennial plants and annuals, very free flowering. Numerous named varieties and hybrids are grown and four species are native plants.
After Helen of Troy ; according to legend the flowers sprang from her tears (Compositae). Sneezeweed. Hardy herbaceous perennials from North America, good for cutting and popularly grown for their late summer flowers. The disc of the flower head is very prominent, a characteristic of the entire genus.
I have given up indoor seed starting completely on several occasions. The first time it happened I was a novice gardener. I had ordered seeds of just about every plant that I saw in the garden catalogs without thinking about such practical things as gallons of potting soil, hours of daily watering, and square feet of windowsill space. It also did not occur to me to determine whether or not I had room in my garden for even a fraction of my seedlings. My chaotic efforts eventually produced some wonderful plants, but the process was so exhausting that I said: “Never again.”
Commemorating M. Gaillard de Marentonneau, a French patron of botany (Compositae). Blanket flower. A small genus of annuals and perennials, natives of America, with a long flowering period, useful for cut flowers. Somewhat untidy in habit, the long stalks fall about in wind and rain. Gaillardias need some twiggy stakes to help to keep the flowers clean and in full view.
Tender climbing perennial plants which are free flowering and suitable for growing in pots in the greenhouse, or for planting out of doors. They are closely related to the Snapdragon (Antirrhinum), to whose family, Scrophulariaceae, they belong.
Today I went out my back door and noticed that one of my rosebushes was, unexpectedly, sporting a fresh new flower bud. It was within a day or so of opening up–small, greenish and obviously defiant of the season. The bud was an oddity on a rosebush that is itself an oddity. When I bought the small white-flowered shrub last summer it had one blossom that was half white and half red, and looked as if it had been half-dipped in red paint. Though my February bud was not a “half and half” flower, I took its appearance as a harbinger of spring, plucked it, and delivered it to a friend who shares my belief in such things.
Garden rutabaga, such as ‘Bronze Top’ and ‘Purple Top Improved’ often replace winter turnips. Rutabaga are hardy, and the large roots may be left in the ground until Christmas at least. You can also lift the roots in October, cut off the foliage and store the swedes indoors in dry sand.
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