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Today's Topiaries- Monrovia Designs

Topiary forms remain popular today in private and public gardens. One of
the most delightful public displays is found at Lotusland in Santa Barbara, California. This garden fantasy world features fantastic clipped hedges, a set of topiary chessmen and even a “zoo” of 60 topiary animals created by Japanese plant artisans.

Exotically clipped topiaries may not be your taste; however, the more traditional topiary shapes can enhance a property as well. Monrovia offers topiary spirals, single and multi-branched double forms, tiered pompoms, tear drops, globes, cones, cubes, and more. Use these living sculptures to create a formal presentation or add some formal touches to a more relaxed garden. Create an elegant entry by flanking a pair of spirals at the top of a walkway. Incorporate round globes into clipped hedges, planting one at either end to act as finials anchoring the hedge to its site. Space globes within the hedge to break up its broad, flat geometry. Multi-branched pompom and Oriental pompom topiaries are at home in Asian gardens, as well as in Mid Century modern gardens that recall 1950’s and 60’s style. Tall columns, pyramids and spirals are popular shapes in Mediterranean gardens as they add height and texture to surrounding low-profile plantings.

What is the secret to these artistic forms? Small-leafed selections, such as Boxwood (Buxus), Rosemary (Rosmarinus) and Brush Cherry (Eugenia) are allowed to grow several years from their cutting stage. For taller topiaries, such as a spiral, Juniper (Juniperus) and Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca conica) they must reach a certain height based upon the desired container size before specially trained Monrovia craftsmen carefully shape each one. You know it is a Monrovia spiral when you can count three turns starting from the base and upward to the right.

Just like fine wines, topiaries need years to age to display their desired special form. A Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca conica) in a #5 spriral takes 8 years and 3 months! A Mint Julep® Juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Monlep’) pompom takes 12 years inside a #15! Good things come for those who wait. Why wait when you can ask for a larger container size. Plant specifications are available for each upgrade option.

Plant care is much easier than you think. Slower growing selections like a Juniper (Juniperus) may require less trimming than a Leyland Cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii). If you are looking for less maintenance, this is a tip to keep in mind, but it is always good to keep them looking tidy to really showcase their formal appearance. Faulkner Boxwood (Buxus microphylla ‘Faulkner’) and Winter Gem Boxwood (Buxus microphylla ‘Winter Gem’) are now available in a cube form and in two different sizes. Perfect for patching a problem area or creating an instant hedge. Both have smaller leaves which can be important for regions where waterwise plants are encouraged. 

With 27 different designs to choose from, as well as hundreds of color and textures to review, there is a topiary made for every special space. From hiding ordinary landscaping challenges, container plantings, seasonal decorating, and dressing up entryways, there are so many opportunities to make an elegant statement on your next project.