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Blog 15 Topiary


We enjoy creating shapes out of yew and box – it provides a good talking point when walking round the garden. Some are clearly distinguishable – others are for the observer to decide what it is! They usually have ears and tails and some have long necks! They are trimmed twice a year.

Our front garden is small but easy care. You probably can’t see the sunglasses on the “womble-like” cone shape in the middle of the far stone work. Our son has a sense of humour! The low, curving box hedge started out as just 10 plants which we planted deeply and kept dividing and replanting. We trim the box once a year.

When we arrived here 26 years ago you couldn’t walk up the front path without being brushed by these two large Yew. We pollarded them to their trunks – the neighbours were horrified! Gradually we worked on each of them: forming one ball, and then two and finally three.

When we arrived, the main hedge was privet with roses in front – not a good combination! Even with pruning five times a year it still looked messy. We dug it all out and prepared a trench with humous at the bottom and planted some little hedging yew plants, which grew very quickly. We now give it one main cut a year in July, and then take of the odd sprouting, untidy growth off later in the summer.

When we’re really busy and a bit behind with the work we use a 20" hedge cutter! This man did lose his leg but it was from a pair of secateurs. It’s taken three years to re-grow. We’ve recently given him a beer tankard!

It took a long while to decide what this was going to be – it only had three limbs, but eventually we teased a fourth out! Yew is such a fantastic plant to work with!

When I bought this Yew I was assured that it was slow growing. I planted it in the ground and it went whoosh! It had been potbound!!! We don’t “do” dark green conifers in our garden – they have to be bright gold or blue. So, in order to survive, we had to think of something novel – this was the result!

Even large trees can be cut to shape. This one on the right has a very thick trunk but is kept tightly clipped in “cloud” shapes.

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We love box and yew as they add structure and give focal points.Your front garden is lovely and the eccentric shapes and topiary add touches of wit and humour as well.

24 Apr, 2008


Omg Your Topiary is Brill, Iv some Conifers that are only small @ present& id like to make them in2 aball shape on top when their big enough, i keep taking off their lower branche when i think their getting to big as i want the energy going into the growth of conifer not bottom branches IS THIS RITE THING2DO FSG? X

25 Apr, 2008


I am a firm believer in letting the energy go into the bits you want and removing the bits you don't! It you want a bare stem I believe its better to take the branches off when they are really young - that way you don't have large scars from removing bigger branches. It gives a smoother trunk, too. Keep trimming the shape you want. Conifers will sprout at the point of least resistance - if you chop that end point it says "ah - I'll have to grow somewhere else", and so it puts its energy into another shoot - hopefully one that needs to grow to achieve your desired final shape. Prune little and often when the plants are developing their shape

25 Apr, 2008


Thanx 4 the Advice FSG :)

25 Apr, 2008


I so love a bit of topiary it's fun for both the kiddies and adults to try and make out what the things are growing around the garden. Yours are wonderful.

26 Apr, 2008


My husband doesn't profess to be artistic - but he is really good at topiary. He is also very good at photography. I provide the subject matter - he captures it on camera! So he is very artistic - in a different way.

27 Apr, 2008


I like the rabbit/kangaroo best :-) I have a yew peacock that I am very fond of.

29 Apr, 2008


Love the little animals does the kangeroo ever give a kick up the backside when gardening lol

17 Jun, 2009


i absolutely love your topiaries....terrific!

20 Oct, 2011

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