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Decorative Plant Art

By: Stuart Delk | Floral Director
On: April 29, 2015

Topiary is the training of live plants into defined shapes. From Roman times though the present, topiary has enjoyed wide popularity. You’ve likely seen the broad range, from massive shrubs in European gardens trained into geometric shapes, to single pots of delicate herbs trained into spheres like the ones we carry at Dorothy Lane Market in the Flower & Plant department. Interestingly, Disneyland introduced large topiary to a wide American audience.

The fast and cheap way of producing topiary is growing the specimen plant to size then trimming into shape. The right way is to train the plant during the entire growing period. The difference between the two is night and day; a cartoon of topiary vs. a visually elegant specimen.

Pot selection is critical in topiary presentation. Ever seen a great topiary in a cheap plastic pot? I haven’t. Our grower uses elegant clay pots that are grey, rose, and marbled rose with a rolled rim. Our topiary grower in Michigan produces stunning examples of topiaries trained from rosemary, lavender, myrtle, sage, and many others. So whether you are looking for a Mother’s Day gift or something to add both visual interest and foliage to your home, a topiary is a fine choice.