Some garden owners are perfectly happy cutting back their hedges the ordinary way. But others blossom into true artists when it comes time to trim. To create topiary shapes, it’s best to choose densely growing, typically evergreen species, such as box or yew. Thick branches that branch into finer and finer twigs form the main lines of the finished shape. To train the branches in the right direction, fasten the flexible twigs with wire.
Use taut strings held between canes or build a frame made from strips of wood to set geometric shapes, such as pyramids. Place the frame over the plant and cut off all protruding shoots. This makes it easy to create a whole range of shapes, from a straightforward cube to a sphere or a pyramid.
Even standard trees and plants can be trimmed to make them a highlight of your garden. Tub plants are particularly suitable for geometric standard shapes.
The best way to make fancy shapes such as animals is to construct a wire netting skeleton over the shrub. Cutting along the wire is no problem. It’s important to use an easy-to-manoeuvre sharp cutter for precision cutting. All projecting shoots should be cut away several times a year to encourage the plant to bush out. How quickly the desired shape is achieved depends on the size and growth of the selected shrub. It usually takes several years to produce impressive plant sculptures.
Transforming shrubbery into works of art is the cutting edge of hedge trimming. If you’re still a novice in the field and don’t feel you’re quite ready to start creating fancy shapes yet, then read our article on “The correct way to cut hedges” on our website and watch our video tutorials on hedge trimmers.