While traditional topiary can act as the main focus in a garden setting, it can also be used to highlight other features such as at the foot of a pergola or around the base of a water feature. In a border setting, half standards or ‘lollipops’ placed at intervals throughout the length of a planting scheme will add permanent height and structure, enhancing the more naturalised planting below, which might be refreshed from season to season.
Classic topiarised shapes, such as cones, balls or spirals, can be placed as bold punctuation points at the corners of a scheme, adding aesthetic interest to an otherwise ‘flat’ area.
Pathways are the classic backbone for an avenue of topiary, not only to draw the eye through to other parts of the garden, but to create a journey to a destination, be it the entrance to a property or a focal point such as a sculpture. Symmetrical rows of topiary can cast an illusion of space, so can be used to great effect in a smaller space, such as an urban garden.
One of the most popular ways of using topiary plants is to enhance a front entrance with a matching pair of containerised specimens. Cones, spirals, cubes and quarter standard trees would all suit, but once planted these will probably remain in situ, so choice of plant species should suit the orientation of the sun throughout the day. It is also important to select planters which will complement the period of the property and harmonise with existing hard landscaping materials.