Topairy’s like marmite, you either love it or hate it. I’m of the opinion that there’s place for a few balls in most gardens, not to mention cones, boxes and rectangles…..
There’s something about the smoothness and solidity of clipped evergreens nestling in amongst softer, frothy planting that really works. So it’s around about this time of year that I like to take a pair of shears to my favourite pieces and get them back in shape. Here’s a group of ‘Mound Monsters’ I’ve been working on over the last few years…
Box is the obvious choice for topiary because it’s growth rate is uniform and not too fast. I also like the tiny-leaved evergreen Lonicera nitida – a native hedging plant – although it grows quite fast, it clips well into tight shapes.
Bay (laurus nobilis) also works well for a slightly looser, mediterranean look. English Yew (taxus bacatta) and Ilex crenata are also great choices, if a little pricey.
Brian the Snail is a step too far, though. That’s what happens when you give free rein to the man who does the hedges (George, that’s you I’m talking about….)