How to Make an Artistic Topiary | Living the Country Life
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How to Make an Artistic Topiary

In the Summer 2017 issue of Country Gardens, topiary master Pearl Fryar demonstrates how to turn salvaged shrubs into garden art with only a few tools and a lot of creative vision.
  • Photography by Brie Williams

    Make a Tabletop Topiary

    Take inspiration from Pearl’s artistry and create your own tabletop topiary. He says to start with small shrubs such as dwarf yaupon holly, false cypress, or Sargent’s juniper, then fashion them into desired shapes such as a vertical column, rounded orb, or horizontal block.

    Date Published: May 23, 2017
    Date Updated: July 5, 2017
  • Photography by Brie Williams

    Materials for Making a Small Topiary 

    Small shrub such as Sargent’s juniper 

    Clay pot 

    Pruners 

    Zip ties (varying sizes)

    Accent objects such as nuts, seedpods, or lights, if desired

    Date Published: May 23, 2017
    Date Updated: July 5, 2017
  • Photography by Brie Williams

    Study the Shrub Growth

    Here, Pearl starts with a Sargent’s juniper (Juniperus chinensis var. sargentii) in a clay pot and examines the shrub, the number of shoots, and their growth patterns. 

    Date Published: May 23, 2017
    Date Updated: July 5, 2017
  • Photography by Brie Williams

    Trim Away Center Branches

    Pearl prunes away much of the center of the plant’s greenery, exposing the bark of the connected shoots. “This will become the base for the design,” Pearl says.

    Date Published: May 23, 2017
    Date Updated: July 5, 2017
  • Photography by Brie Williams

    Form Branches into Arches

    Pearl selects opposite shoots and connects their ends to form arches over the center of the plant then continues connecting shoots to shape free-form loops over the center of the plant. He uses zip ties to hold them in place.

    Date Published: May 23, 2017
    Date Updated: July 5, 2017
  • Photography by Brie Williams

    Topiary Upkeep

    Pearl prunes the topiary every 2–3 weeks to form the shape. “Over time, the plant will grow and fill in, so you can prune it into the shape you want,” he says.

    Date Published: May 23, 2017
    Date Updated: July 5, 2017
  • Photography by Brie Williams

    Topiary Accents

    Pearl accents his topiary designs with whole mixed nuts and sweet gum seedpods connected with screw eyes and a chain. “You can also decorate them with lights or bulbs depending on the time of year,” he says.

    Date Published: May 23, 2017
    Date Updated: July 5, 2017
  • photo by Rob Cardillo

    Country Gardens Subscription

    Country Gardens® magazine celebrates the spirit and romance of gardening as a lifestyle. Each issue bursts with gorgeous photography of stunning gardens, straightforward garden advice, casual decorating ideas, portraits of old-fashioned garden favorites and tough-as-nails native plants, the latest tools and gadgets, garden-fresh recipes, and personal stories that inspire readers to take action. $11.98 for one year (4 issues)/$19.97 for two years (8 issues); Country Gardens Magazine Subscription—www.themeredithstore.com.

     

    Date Published: May 23, 2017
    Date Updated: July 5, 2017

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