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Topiary for Beginners

Topiary, or the art of shaping plants into shapes or forms, is a craft usually seen in formal gardens. However, topiary is also a great addition to any kind of garden, landscape, or patio. Topiary plants are usually grown in a container, so topiary can be displayed anywhere in your Potomac, Woodbridge, or Annandale landscape.

Topiary can be in the form of vines that are pruned and trained to grow over forms, or shrubs cut into a shape. Common topiary vines include English ivy and Boston ivy, which can be planted around the form so it can be trained to grow around the frame and then pruned appropriately. Shrub topiary can be grown around a form or grow freely; topiary shrub plants include evergreen, boxwood, rosemary, and arborvitae. But for those just starting out with topiary, consider using a form and take things slowly. Beginners should also consider starting with simple geometric shapes with soft forms, such as spheres and pyramids, rather than rigid shapes such as squares.

When shaping and pruning topiary, use sharp, clean tools to make decisive, strong cuts. Topiary should be clipped depending on the speed at which the ivy or shrub grows and by the shape of the form. Keep the soil moist and prevent the container from standing water, which will lead to root rot. Keep stray branches and vines tucked inside the form and train vines onto the frame. Be sure to prune long growth back to the main body of the topiary to promote full growth. Topiary grows best in a shaded area safe from wind.

For more topiary tips for your Gainesville, Great Falls, and Chevy Chase landscape, contact Lost Creek Landscapes. Lost Creek Landscapes specializes in a full suite of landscaping and hardscaping services throughout Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC.