Using Topiaries The Right Way

This pear topiary will be an accent wherever it is used

This pear topiary will be an accent wherever it is used.

This is a striking use of pear topiaries in a planter going up the front steps of this house.

This is a striking use of pear topiaries in a planter going up the front steps of this house.

There is some good news on topiaries. Many of our upscale garden shops are carrying them already trained. The ones shown in the pictures above were purchased already formed in their candlestick shape. Grown in containers the plants give an instant look. For years all topiaries had to be trained and shaped from a standard growing plant. Now these pear ones might produce fruit, in fact, most do produce several fruits, but their true value is in there striking shape. I really like the two matching ones filling the blank wall except for an awkward small window. Here is a case where the planting design helps fill in the blank space and makes the window part of the total picture. Another point is the simplicity of the plant materials used. Since pears like full sun and fertile soil, they go great in this planter which has drip irrigation. The planting under the pears is prostrate rosemary that will never grow high enough to cover their form. The key to maintaining a purchased formed topiary is to prune it at the proper time, and make sure that you keep the shape intact. It is a striking accent in most any situation and costs generally between $200 and $300 each.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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