A minimalist covered courtyard lounge reveals its intensely colorful interior when it's reflected by the swimming pool beneath it, revealing the warm glow of a lantern candelabra and a central fireplace otherwise contained by the room's pillared archway. In the background, a palm tree reveals a resemblance to the archway's textured pillars, demonstrating how the garden's topiary features carry through the property's architecture.
A backyard landscape rippling with the texture of an inlaid stonework fire pit and curving pathways is complemented by the addition of sloping stone walls that arc around a verdant lawn and stone accented shrubbery and topiary features. At night, the space is dramatically lighted by both the fire pit and electric accent lighting installed beneath stone benches.
Rather than fill the empty space of the planting beds with an array of flowers and shrubs, the designer chose to emphasize the unique boxwood shapes by planting them far apart. A simple, neat layer of mulch ensures the focus remains on the artistic topiary element and deters the growth of weeds.
A sunken bocce court is separated from the swimming pool in the backyard garden of this La Jolla, California, garden home by a curated blend of topiary, shrubbery, and beds of wildflowers. The once overgrown garden maintains its wild origins while remaining classically styled. In the background multicolored stonework walls are broken up, adding depth, color, and texture to the environment.
Popular with garden designers worldwide due to its ability to be pruned into many shapes, boxwood hedge is a perfect fit for topiary. It requires full sun to grow, so it’s best fit for placement in front of a porch or patio rather than inside of a shade-covered outdoor area.
Similar to boxwood hedge, potted cypress works well as topiary. For the best growth possible, place potted cypress in an area that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. As far as watering is concerned, cypress can rot easily if oversaturated, so it’s best to water it in the morning to allow for proper evaporation before the sun fades.
The courtyard terrace of this Point Lorna, California, villa home features neutral furnishings that complement the simplicity of the architecture that encompasses them. Wicker sofas complement the texture of earth toned pillars set in the terrace's archways which are climbing with flowering vines reflected in the pool below. The vines allow the garden's topiary features to traverse the pool the way a footbridge allows passage below.
When you have a TV above a mantel, your decor space is limited. But you can warm up the spot with greenery. Use preserved boxwood globes, which are sold by many retailers for $50-$75, for a lush look that's long-lasting. The size of the boxwood topiaries also provide a contrast with the tall mantel, says Michelle Mentzer, owner of Miles Design Group in metro Atlanta.
The garden courtyard terrace of this Point Lorna, California, villa home is decorated with subtle pool furniture in neutral tones that complement the property's minimalist design and allow the natural surroundings of the lush garden, with its verdant floral and topiary features, to color to the space. Wicker chairs and chaise longues feature plush striped cushions which highlight the earth tones of the building's facade while blue umbrellas reflect the daytime sky and swimming pool below.
A perfect fit for topiary and container gardening, English Boxwood is a small evergreen shrub known for slow growth and yellow and green coloring on its leaves. At full maturity, this shrub will reach 2 feet in width and height. Like most shrubs, it simply requires watering twice a week and partial to full sun exposure.
Look for this topiary style of dwarf Alberta spruce featuring spheres. In the nursery trade, this form is known as a two-ball poodle or pom-pom spruce. It’s a great choice for complementing a formal garden or making a statement in containers. When growing dwarf Alberta spruce in containers, use a commercial bagged soil blended for acid-loving plants. Consider adding shredded pine bark to the mix. Layer a few inches of bark mulch over soil to help it retain moisture.
It’s not unusual to find dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’) sold in various forms. In the nursery trade, this type of pruned spruce is known as a topiary spiral. Its unusual silhouette makes it a good choice for a focal point shrub in the landscape. When adding dwarf Alberta spruce to your yard, choose a spot with full to part sun and well-drained soil.
Limit your exposure to nosy neighbors by getting creative with privacy provisions. Shrubs in planters (that you can take with you when you move) are a smart solution that architect Carolyn Trevor used in this lovely dining deck. “The formal evergreen topiary softens the edges and creates a pleasing backdrop whilst affording some privacy for the occupants. It’s an efficient way of enclosing the deck and also providing a natural balustrade — without losing entertainment space. The architectural quality of the planting is also greatly enhanced when lit up at night,” she says.
When using old books, if the covers or spines are ugly or in bad condition, open them up and use the pages to soften up the mantel decor. Designer Janna Allbritton always tries to incorporate something soft (such as pages or ribbon) with something shiny (such as mercury glass) and greenery (such as a succulent or topiary). She also loves bringing in wire, wood and metal elements, which can be snagged for just a few dollars at yard sales or thrift shops.
Rod recommends starting small when planning your garden. Break your garden planning into pieces and test plants out before you plant them. Rod likes to place plants still in their pots where he wants to eventually locate them, to check the light conditions. If they do well, you can go ahead and plant them. His partner sometimes jokes about Rod's "black pot garden." Lisa Bartlett of Gramma B's is the landscape designer for this space. The topiary here is Juniperus procumbens 'Nana', and underplantings include dipladenia, Kong coleus and sweet potato vine. The vine on the pergola is wisteria floribunda, 'Amethyst Falls'.
Include beautiful lavender in your garden plans to help keep biting mosquitoes at bay. Varieties with higher camphor properties are the most effective insect repellents. This includes ‘Provence’ and ‘Grosso’ lavender. On a sunny day, lavender releases its aromatic oils naturally. In the evening, reap its bug-busting benefits by crushing flower buds and leaves and rubbing them on your skin. Tuck lavender into pots or planting beds. Grab lavender topiaries if your outdoor seating areas feature a formal flair.
Native to the Mediterranean region, the bay tree is widely cultivated as an ornamental there and as a houseplant in colder climates – mainly because it’s an excellent candidate for growing as a topiary. Hardy only to zone 7, it’s ideal for forming low hedges. Although it can grow into a tree up to 40 to 50 feet tall, bay is often maintained as a large shrub in containers. In spring, it puts out small yellow flowers, which by fall develop into dark purple berries.