As old as the ancient Persians and Egyptians themselves, the topiary art is still very much alive and well. This form of static flora art is appealing to everyone who sees it, and it can be the envy of your entire neighborhood. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or an expensive undertaking; it simply needs the professional touch of an expert to magically transform any bare garden space into a stunning work of art.
Topiary gardening can be very time-consuming, but fortunately, the plants used typically last a long time. The yew, for example, can last for a thousand years! Not a bad return on your investment. Even the run-of-the-mill topiary piece can take about 40 years to reach a state of perfection, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of this art in about a few months. As painstaking as the process is, the end result is what you’re after—and what a rewarding feeling that can be.
The Lifeblood of a Topiary Garden
The main types of shrubs and trees used as topiaries are the yew, the bay and the box. The yew is especially suited to taller creations because of the way their branches spiral outwards from the trunk. Pyramids, cones and other vertically-oriented pieces are best constructed with yew. Box is a solid form that lends itself well to structures like globes, cubes and other 3-D geometrical shapes because they have well-defined edges and give smooth finishes to the end product. Bay is great for stemmed pieces because they tend to ‘bush out’ after reaching a particular height.
There’s really no limit to how creative your mind can be. You can lean towards a particular style, such as the classic or modern, but the choice is entirely yours. Animal themes are highly popular with most people living in suburban homes, but there are a number of themes you can choose: European renaissance styles with geometric shapes; Far Eastern styles such as those found in Japanese Zen gardens; or even animal sculptures that have been popular through the ages.
Some people use frames to guide the growth of the plants to help them grow around certain skeletal structures, much like trellis art. But many purists tend to shrug them off as being too modern. Bonsai art certainly doesn’t allow it, and neither do many of the renaissance forms of topiary art. But again, it’s your garden so you get to choose the method, the design and the layout.
Plan it on paper to get a fair idea of how it will finally look, or ask an expert to give you some design ideas. If unsure, take whatever advice the professionals offer, and then add your own flavor in the form of suggestions to build on those ideas.
Topiary gardens are works of art, and not your typical garden project. Therefore, perform your research and find the best company in the area to do the job. Landscape lighting is a very important aspect of this as well. Find a company that can create stunning visual effects with minimalistic and affordable lighting solutions, and what you have is a true work of art.