Thursday, March 14, 2019
Topiary… the term may sound unfamiliar, but there’s no doubt you’ve seen the art around. Those hedges and shrubs that have been trimmed into amazing sculptures of everything from shapes to animals to people are topiaries. The art is defined as the horticultural practice of clipping shrubs or trees into shapes.
Topiaries date back to ancient Egypt, when rows of date palm were force-cut into shapes of cones. They returned in medieval times as a way of training fruit plants, and then again during the Italian Renaissance. In the 15th century, the Dutch became intrigued with creating topiary that resembled animals while the French preferred creating topiary into geometric shapes. Topiaries have continued to evolve, they’re not only restricted to formal landscaping structures, some are crafted from potted plants, like ivy or rosemary.
Today, creating a topiary no longer requires that you adhere to live plants, floral topiaries have become quite popular as well. Designing a floral topiary is a simple way to bring a touch of nature indoors… winter, spring, summer or fall. All you need are the flowers and foliage of your choice, floral foam, as well as a tree branch (or stick) and container to act as the support and showcase for your design. For our topiary, we’ve selected Serruria, Leucadendron, Phylica, Berzelia, Calycina and waxflower, blooms that can last two to three weeks with the proper care. Many of these botanicals will retain their structural design and to some extent their color long after their vase-life. They don’t die, they dry… Beautifully!