Topiary Hedging Plants Guide

The choice of Topiary Hedging Plants is varied. Five of the most popular are: Box, Privet, Lonicera Nitida, Yew and Hornbeam. All share key attributes…

Topiary Hedging Plants at Hedge Xpress

Privet 60-90cm

£8.95 exc. VAT

Topiary is: “The horticultural practice of training live perennial plants by clipping the foliage and twigs of trees, shrubs and subshrubs to develop and maintain clearly defined shapes.”

Topiary Hedging Plants – Attributes

The key attributes for any topiary hedging plants are:

  • Evergreen
  • Small, dense foliage
  • For topiary being grown on a frame, a tendency to ‘vine’ is desirable

It is even possible to use larger leaved hedging plants – like Cherry Laurel – for topiary, though only for large scale projects.

Topiary Hedging Plants – Getting Started

Most topiary novices start with a faster-growing, less expensive variety, typically Box or Privet or, less often, Lonicera Nitida.

However, just because these plants are often found on the nursery slopes, certainly does not mean they are somehow unworthy of the attention of the more expert. Indeed, Box in particular can hold its own with both Yew and Hornbeam in the first ranks of topiary plants.

Topiary Hedging Plants – Which Shape?

As we have noted before, the neatly clipped rectangular hedge is as much a work of topiary as is that three metre spiral, lollipop or peacock in a suburban garden and keeping your garden hedge looking its best is excellent practice for more advanced topiary.

The next step up is the Box Pyramid or Ball. Both shapes can be bought ready-formed (click HERE) and a season keeping one of these in shape is a great way of building confidence and learning just how simple topiary actually is.

Topiary Hedging Plants – Advanced

The Yew and Hornbeam are often considered to be the preserve of expert topiarists, but, as suggested above, this is not absolutely true. The main difference between these two and the others is simply that they are trees rather than shrubs so that they are easier to grow with a single, central trunk. But even here, Box, for one, can be trained to replicate this fundamental arboreal trait.