Are you looking for ways to beautify your front yard even more? If you already have some myrtle or boxwood around your yard, you can use them for topiary work! Topiaries are a great addition to your yard. They come in different sizes and designs that can accent different areas in your yard.
If you think that these gorgeous, captivating outdoor topiaries are intimidating to take care of, take comfort in the fact that maintaining them is easier than sculpting them. Some people have them professionally pruned, while others fearlessly sculpt these greens freehand by themselves. This is not recommendable for first-timers, though (especially if your end goal is to beautify your front yard) but really, whatever floats your boat goes.
What Is a Topiary?
A topiary is essentially an evergreen shrub pruned into decorative shapes for landscape design. These thick-leaved shrubs include but are not limited to box, yew, holly, and cypress. Many go for designs like cubes, spirals, sphere-like shapes. Others tend to get a little more creative by pruning their topiaries into complicated shapes like stars and layering other shapes on top of each other.
Some take it a step further by shaping theirs into cartoon characters or animals. Someone must have been bored to come up with such a thing. The earliest record of the practice was dated back to the 1st century CE, speculated to have been invented by a friend of the ancient Roman emperor Augustus.
Pruning is not as hard as shaping your shrubs for the first time. If they’ve already been shaped before, all you have to do is cut off extra branches and buds that go beyond their “original” shape. However, you should not prune during extreme weather as this may affect the regrowth and health of the plant.
Don’t fall behind the pruning schedule, or you’ll regret it. If you do, the regrowth will be too much for you to prune it properly. The shape design serves as an outline so you can prune easily. If it’s gotten way past the point of pruning, you might want to consider reshaping them once again.
Your topiaries don’t need as much water as you think. However, they should be watered at least once a week, preferably in the morning. Don’t water more than you should, as it may cause the soil to become compacted. Over-watering is just as harmful too as it affects the health of your shrubs. Have a water plan that caters to their needs depending on their growth and species.
Don’t Forget to Fertilize
Like any other plant, your topiaries need fertilizer to grow healthy too. Water-soluble fertilizer is ideal to use during the shrubs’ first few months of growth. Only fertilize once a month at most. Otherwise, your evergreen shrubs will grow too much too fast, which means more pruning for you to do.
On the other hand, grown shrubs should be fertilized during spring or fall. However, applying fertilizer during fall is best for promoting growth to your shrubs. Fall application should be 1 month after a light frost.
Keep the Pests Away
No matter how effective or strong your pesticide is, it’s not going to work unless you apply it at the right time and the wrong amount. Another factor that makes it less potent is improper storage.
Shape It While It Grows
If you have any growing shrubs in your yard, get ahead of the process of shaping with the use of chicken wire. It’s malleable to form the shape you want your shrub to grow into, and it provides support for it too. It’s easier to form it since it looks like it’s growing into the shape you want it to be in. The progress is easy to track too. Eventually, the chicken wire will be covered by your fully grown topiary.
All in all, having topiaries to adorn your front yard isn’t such a bad idea. What would otherwise look like ordinary shrubs are being sculpted into interesting shapes and characters. It’s a creative trick to elevate what you already have on your property, making it stand out from the rest. But like any other plant, they’re going to need continuous care. To get the most out of them, look after your shrubs, so they may continue to serve you by beautifying your yard.