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Hi everyone, having mentioned wanting to buy a Pittosporum recently and being told they were good for topiary, it got we wondering what other shrubs/trees might be good for it. Also, I was wondering if many of you do any topiary as I would love to see pics and would be interested to know how easy/difficult it is ? I am not thinking of creating animals or anything like that but just to be able to keep something in shape would be good!  I can't even keep my buxus balls spherical! 



  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,279

    I love topiary - although I think I'm in a minority on here! I don't have any though - but it's something I'd love to have. Box is the usual choice although yew is sometimes used as well.

    I think you could use some of the shrubby honeysuckles - Lonicera nitida, but they're faster growing so you'd need to have a lot of time to snip! You can buy wire frames to give you a guide, but I think I'd start with columns, squares and cones initially, until you've 'got your eye in'.

    Or just go for it -m be a leader and create some abstract shapes! image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Hello I love topiary I have 4 on the go teddy bear , flower , swan and a ball mine are done by baggesen's gold as it a fast grower .my ball is box slow grower but a change .I would suggest using frames makes life easy and you can remove when you aquire the shape and reuse the frame . 


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,202

    I like topiary but don't want to maintain it year after year so am happy to admire it in other people's gardens.   I restrict myself to keeping "dwarf" conifers tidy and trimmed or hedged.

    Yew forms, some conifers with fine needles, lonicera nitida as mentioned above all work well and I suspect other fine leaved evergreens such as sarcococca and some hollies would be good.   Box is the original plant of choice but is now susceptible to a virus which kills it off and is unsightly in the process.

    Here is a link to photos taken at Levens Hall, the oldest topiary garden in England I think -  They should help with colours and forms.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,706

    We have 2 Pittosporum Garnettii (pale tree in middle of first photo), cut as standards, with a single trunk, about 6-7 feet tall.  They are pruned twice a year, just like a hedge, very simple.  The younger Pittosporums we are topiarising, grow much faster, so it's harder to keep them in a formal shape for long. We are in the early stages of topiarising a Lonicera Baggesons (second photo), it does grow fast, but you can get very fine detail on it due to the size of the foliage, it's tough as old boots.  





  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,279

    Ooh - what are your loniceras going to be kogreen? image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,706

    The Lonicera is loosely based on a heart shape, with the photo taken from the top side of the heart.  I would love to have more Box, but have resigned myself to buying no more due to Blight, as I suspect many of us have on here.  

  • MeomyeMeomye Posts: 770

    Thank you so much for your interesting replies and amazing pics. image Verdun and Keenongreen how do you get your shapes? I am guessing many years of experience. Did you learn by using frames originally? I Will have to treat myself a LB Gold and a starter frame. Any ideas of a good supplier for those? Thanks

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