Topiary is the horticultural practice of shaping perennial plants by trimming foliage and twigs to specific shapes, either geometrical or in sculpture form. This is known as ornamental landscaping and dates back to Roman times, where hedges and shrubs would be shaped into figures of animals, ciphers, and obelisks.

Topiary garden in UK

The best plants to use for topiaries would consist of woody evergreens that have small leaves and are known to have dense foliage that grows compactly together. These would include:

  • Buxus sempervirens
  • Duranta ‘Sheena’s Gold’
  • Nandina domestica 
  • Syzygium Paniculatum
  • Viburnum tinus 
  • Abelia 

Modern-day topiaries are made easier for the untrained shears, with wire cages that are already shaped, which helps guide the plant into the desired shape. This also makes trimming the hedge easier and less time-consuming.

The shapes and sizes of a topiary is completely up to the designers imagination and desire!