Curb appeal is important for any home and a well-manicured lawn can add to the overall effect and feel of your property. If you want to take your landscaping to the next level, then it is time to add some well-placed topiary plants and create a focal point for your home. 

Keep reading to learn more about some of the most popular types of topiary, which plants to use, and how to train them to grow in an artful way. 


Standards are a popular form of topiary in European gardens and often consist of semitropical shrubs that have been planted in a clay or stone pot. These shrubs have been trained to grow as a single trunk or stem and then a distinct shape has been created with the leaves and flowers at the top of the trunk. 

This style of topiary creates a formal feeling for the entryway of your home near the front door, walkway or patio.

The plants that are suited best for this style of topiary are hydrangeas, ivy, tree roses, hibiscus or fuchsias. These potted plants can be left out year-round if you live in a temperate climate. If you live in an area with colder winters, you would need to bring them indoors for protection. 


This style of topiary features sheared low or tightly-clipped evergreens. This can provide an appealing flat green surface to your landscape throughout the year. 

The parterre creates a hedging feature that can help add dimension or geometric patterns to your garden. It adds a nice backdrop to bright beds of flowers or other types of foliage. To create a nice feature using parterre as a formal element around a prominent tree in your yard, these tree services might be needed in trimming the tree before you get started. 


Espalier is a topiary style often created using fruit trees. By using guide wires and precise pruning techniques, fruit trees such as apple, pear or crabapple can grow flat against a wall. This makes for a nice decorative pattern against the fence line of your deck or back wall of your patio.

Other growth patterns such as fans or diamonds can be achieved depending on how the tree is pruned and trained while it is growing. The best way to do this is to allow the tree to flower and naturally produce its fruit under restriction in its environment. This allows it to thrive and is also a great way to have a fruit-producing tree even if you are limited on space. 

Living Walls

Having a fence can ruin the feel of the landscaping you have in your yard or garden. Due to this many gardeners prefer to use yew hedges or arborvitae to create privacy. These plants can grow to the height of a wall and can provide more privacy than a chain-link fence. 

Besides forming a natural fence line for your property, these shrubs can also be used to create a lush green backdrop for your garden or property line. To add a touch of whimsy, you can create windows in the hedge by cutting into the wall. This will also allow you a glimpse outside of your yard. 

Herb Knot Garden

An herb knot garden dates back to colonial days. It was created in English cottage gardens and then brought across the pond to early American gardens. The herbs were grown in abundance and often would seed out from their smaller patches into the larger cultivated areas of the main garden. 

The herb knot garden was introduced as an attempt to combine the functionality of herbs with the more formal aspect of a garden. The three most popular herbs for this type of garden are lavender, rosemary, and thyme. These days, herb knot gardens continue to inspire gardeners by using dwarf sedum, ground covers, and other plants in larger gardens or plant coverings. 

Flowering Shrubs

Flowering shrubs can add a beautiful pop of color to your home landscape or gardens, especially in early spring when they bloom. These shrubs can be pruned and trained to grow in fanciful domes or rounded mounds. 

This style of pruning can be traced to Japan where they would trim rhododendron shrubs as well as azalea, cherry, and magnolia trees to imitate clouds, stones, and other natural forms. 


Pleaching is a pruning technique that was used to create a boulevard through a large-scale country garden with carefully-pruned tall trees. The trees were planted close to each other and the branches of the trees were trained to grow together using wires to connect them.

After a length of time, the trees would grow together as one and create a solid wall. Some of the best options to create this look are hawthorn and apple trees.  

Those who are wanting to recreate this look in a smaller area can plant small trees close together and use the same pleaching technique for pruning as you would on a larger scale.  

Learn More About Topiary Plants Today!

Adding topiary plants to your landscape or garden is a great way to give your property not only curb appeal but a charming atmosphere. There are many different ways to style your plants, from flat rectangles, globes, and pyramids to more whimsical clouds and shapes of animals. Whatever your style might be, topiaries are sure to be an eye-catching and interesting addition to any home and garden. 

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