There’s something particularly classy about a neat boxwood artificial topiary ball hanging on a curly iron bracket at the entrance to your home or office. Topiary dates back to Roman times although become popular during the 16th Century where popular shapes such as balls, cubes, cones, spirals and pyramids where established. The idea of clipping bushes into these shapes was to add vertical features to what was otherwise a flat landscape and today, topiary continues to be used in much the same way.
Real topiary is without doubt tough to grow and maintain – it requires regular maintenance to thrive and to stay in shape. Typically made from boxwood, topiary requires watering throughout the year but especially during the growing season – and pruning must be carried out during spring/summer with very clean shears to avoid the dreaded Box blight. Although topiary can be positioned in the sun, partial shade or even full shade, full sun can scorch the leaves and the soil must not be allowed to dry out. Further, during growing season, the soil should be topped with organic fertiliser to keep the plant healthy. It is easy enough to see the benefits of artificial topiary when reading this long list of requirements!
Artificial topiary can be hung as balls at the entrance to a home or office –something that does not work well for real boxwood! It can be hung in any position, provided that you purchase products made from UV resistant material. No watering or feeding is necessary and your topiary will maintain its wonderful shape, without the need to clip or prune. There’s nothing extra to buy such as fertiliser either – once you’ve purchased a topiary ball, it will last for years. Unless you’re an avid gardener determined to master the art of topiary, purchasing artificial really seems like a no-brainer.
The biggest advantages of artificial topiaries over their real boxwood alternatives are:
- You can put artificial topiary in any position without worrying about the health of the plant.
- They are fairly cheap to buy (although it’s worth investing in quality)
- Once you’ve bought them, you don’t have to buy anything else (e.g. fertiliser)
- You won’t need to keep trimming them into shape
- You don’t need to worry about feeding or watering them
- You can buy them as hanging balls which won’t work for real boxwood
- They retain their colour and freshness regardless of the conditions – whilst they may fade over a number of years, they’ll never wilt or go brown like real topiary. Hang them in a shadier spot to prolong their life.
- Some topiary balls are so realistic looking, you’ll have to touch them to know they’re not real
- They’re easy to clean should you need to – a quick wipe down or spray with a mild soapy solution will keep them fresh and bright.
- You don’t have bring them indoors during bad weather, although doing so will prolong their lifespan.
- They bring class and grace to any entrance, whether it’s the home or garden – and they can add vertical detail to flatter landscapes.
And the disadvantages? Really, the only objection people have to artificial topiary is how it looks. Often this is just the result of peoples’ misconceptions, as today’s artificial topiaries are so realistic, the only giveaway is that you can’t really use real boxwood as a hanging topiary ball!
Featured image: Artificial 38cm Buxus Boxwood single topiary ball