Topiary - The art of bringing plants alive

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Topiary - The art of bringing plants alive

Living in an atmosphere with greenery everywhere gives pleasure to the body as well as to the soul. This greenery symbolizes peacefulness. Nature is the most beautiful creation in this world. The word 'Nature' gives us a relaxed feeling irrespective of any sort of tensions. Plants are commonly grown for home garden designing, positive psychological effects and for indoor air purification. Plants used in this fashion are most commonly tropical or semi-tropical type.

In our previous blogs, we had mentioned about Terrace Gardening ideas and Vertical Gardening ideas. Apart from them you might have tried many gardening techniques to make your garden look attractive and may have succeeded to some extent. If you have got sufficient space around your house to grow many plants, here is one amazing way of presenting your garden beautifully. This amazing technique is called Topiary, the art of bringing plants alive.

 

What is Topiary?

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Topiary is an art of training perennial plants by pruning the foliage and twigs of trees, shrubs and subshrubs in order to give clearly defined shapes. As an art form, it is a type of living sculpture. The word 'Topiary' is derived from the Latin word 'topiarius' which means ornamental landscape gardening.

Most of the plants used in topiary are evergreen and woody plants which contains small leaves with dense and bushy foliage. These densely growing leaves help in creating such amazing designs in the garden. This technique not only helps in beautifying the garden but also help in the healthy growth of plants. Regular pruning of plants can remove the unwanted foliages from the plants. This also helps in preventing disease-causing pathogens affecting the plants.


Topiary Designs

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Most of the topiary designs imitate the birds, animals and humans. Apart from these designs attractive patterns like cubes, spheres, house etc., are also made. Here are some of the types in topiary gardens.

 

1. Parterres Garden:

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A parterre is a formal garden constructed on a level substrate, consisting of plant beds, typically in symmetrical patterns, which are separated and connected by paths. These gardens have simple, large, clipped specimens in and among statues. They also contain beautiful ornate, clipped box hedges swirling around them in mirrored patterns or geometric designs. This style of hedging is known as a parterre garden.

In earlier parterre gardens the gaps in the patterns would be left open and the ground would be covered with ornamental Pebbles. As time went on, the style changed and other plants were added to give extra color and interest.

 

2. Maze Garden or Labyrinths Garden:

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The Maze Garden or Labyrinths Garden are designed using vertical hedges as a wall or dividers between passages. The plants are grown in a straight line pattern and cropped as per the design. The Normans introduced pleasure gardens with mazes and labyrinths formed from clipped plants. Many public gardens still have such designs even today.

 

3. Knot garden or Overlapped garden:

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This type of topiary garden is designed using overlapping patterns. This was first introduced in England during the time of Queen Elizabeth I. Topiary gardens became very popular in Great Britain in her time. During this period, knot gardens and clipped ornate shapes were introduced to gardens throughout the country. The knot garden was formed from different colored boxes, planted in crisscrossing patterns so that it appeared as though ribbons were tied up in knots. Highly-scented herbs were also used as hedging plants among the gaps to give a tapestry of color.

 

Most common Topiary shapes:

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Topiary is still found in many modern gardens with some contemporary designs. You cannot use any plant to create a topiary garden. There are a certain variety of plants which make the topiary garden a masterpiece. Some of the common plants grown in the topiary garden are Duranta Plant, Bougainvillea, English Ivy, Alternanthera Plant etc.,

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