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Topiary: The Best Varieties

By December 3, 2020 No Comments

You don’t need to have a French garden to love topiary. These shaped shrubs and standard trees add structure to any design and help create that WOW factor at your front door.

Not all evergreen shrubs are suitable for regular trimming, so here are some of the best types, to help you find just the right one and make it thrive.


Buxus: The Traditional Choice

The common box is an all-time favourite. With its dense, dark-green foliage, it is perfect in partial shade in pots as well as in the ground. It is low maintenance, since it is slow growing. It is therefore ideal where space is limited.

Photo: Buxus balls with Alliums and Silver Birches

Growing tips:

Soil: Well-drained, moist but well-drained

Aspect: Partial shade

Pruning: 2 to 3 times during the growing season (between March and September)

Feeding:  For best results, use Top Buxus Health Mix as a foliar feed to prevent box blight.


    Taxus: The Foolproof Native Option

If you think that you are not green-fingered then you might want to try the yew. Very easy to grow and tolerant of all aspects and urban pollution, this native, evergreen conifer is a great choice for beginners.

Photo: Taxus balls and hedge with pachysandra

Growing tips:

Soil: Well-drained, fertile

Aspect: Full sun to Shade

Pruning: 2 to 3 times during the growing season (between March and September)


    Bay: The Aromatic Choice For Sunny Gardens.

This native mediterranean tree has aromatic, oblong leaves widely used for tasty stews and soups. It is a better choice for sunny and coastal gardens where the foliage of the buxus could get scorched.

It will need more space, however, although it can be grown in large containers.

Growing Tips:

Soil: Well-drained

Aspect: Full sun to partial shade.

Pruning: Early Spring and Late Summer


    Photinia: The Best for Colour

If topiary is most often green, the Photinia (Red Robin) will add that touch of colour with its foliage emerging red before maturing to dark green. Don’t expect to have very tight animal shapes in the garden as they will benefit from a light trimming, keeping the shape slightly loose.

Larger than the other types, it is still suitable for large pots in sheltered gardens.

Growing tips:

Soil: Well-drained

Aspect: Full sun to Partial shade

Pruning: Spring and late summer

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