Topiary; the term may sound unfamiliar, but we know 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.
Topiary is defined as the horticultural practice of clipping shrubs or trees into shapes and is one type of living sculpture that has gained and lost popularity through the ages.
People have been clipping trees and shrubs into whimsical shapes since 23-79 A.D. Topiary was popular in Ancient Rome, but after the fall of Rome, topiary lost popularity for several hundred years. It 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. In the 18th century, topiary lost popularity again, and Victorians brought it back, adding in new plants and other details.
Topiary spread to North America around 1690, and as houseplants became popular in the 1950s and 60s, topiary became indoor art.
In 1962, “American portable-style Topiary” was introduced to Disneyland. Walt Disney helped bring this topiary into being through recreating his cartoon characters in landscape shrubbery. This style of topiary is based on a steel wire frame that is either stuffed with sphagnum moss and then planted, or placed around shrubbery for the sculpture to grow into topiary as the shrubbery fills in the frame. This style has led to numerous imaginative topiary displays which have been recreated worldwide.
Artificial topiary has also gained popularity throughout the years. Much like artificial Christmas trees, artificial topiary resembles the style of living versions and is used to add color and freshness to indoor and outdoor spaces. Additionally, topiary can take years to grow so artificial topiary has become an excellent choice because they remain realistic and timeless.
For centuries, topiary has been used to spruce up space, delivering a bolder, fresher look. Topiary is still a favorable way to bring charm and elegance to space, so much so that there are a variety of gardens, parks, and cemeteries that have been recognized for their amazing topiary.
In addition to enhancing your home’s curb appeal, topiary plays a role in maintaining a healthy environment. Surrounding your home with plants helps maintain the balance of gases in the air while limiting climate-warming carbons. Photosynthesis turns carbon into carbohydrates which are essential to our food supply and the ability to fight various diseases.
Want to make your own topiary?
Why not? With the variety of large and extravagant topiary, making your own may seem intimidating, but it is doable. It will take time and research to decide what shape you will create, what plant you will grow, and what tools you’ll need. Familiarize yourself with this outdoor power equipment: hedge trimmers and chainsaws to shape and maintain your hedges, pruning shears for smaller plants, pole pruners and multi-tools for tall, hard-to-reach areas, and leaf blowers for quick cleanup. Don’t attempt to make topiary on a whim, because you could end up with something less than satisfactory.
Once your topiary is created, don’t forget to care for it. It will still need to be maintained and trimmed regularly. Also, just like any other plant your topiary needs water and sunlight to thrive.
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Weingartz, family owned and operated, began in 1945 as a farm supply store for local Michigan families. In the 1970s, we began to focus exclusively on outdoor power equipment. Over time, we morphed into the “power equipment superstore” that now defines all of our locations. The staff and experts at Weingartz work diligently to provide the best service possible and give honest and helpful advice to each and every customer.
Weingartz also sells parts for all outdoor power equipment at https://weingartz.com/parts-lookup.
6585 Dixie Hwy.
Clarkston, MI 49319
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