Definition - What does Topiary mean?
Topiary is a form of artistically pruning shrubs and bushes into the shape of animals and other forms. The horticultural trimming process involves shaping perennial shrubs by clipping the foliage and twigs to form a living plant sculpture.
Typically, only evergreen broadleaf or needled shrubs are used in topiary. The shrub must boast a dense growth habit to look ideal when trimmed. European boxwoods, holly, yew, myrtle, bay laurel, and arborvitae are all commonly used in topiary sculpting.
MaximumYield explains Topiary
Topiary has been practiced for centuries. Its origins can be traced back to Roman times when Cnaeus Matius Calvinus created animal shapes in many of the formal gardens of the era. Topiary has also been historically practiced in the Far East.
Nowadays, wire mesh frames are often employed to help shape vines such as ivy into various forms, but true topiary is a free-form style of artistically trimming a bush. Vines growing on the wire-shaped mesh are not true topiary figures. Real topiary does not rely on a wire mesh outline to create animals and other shapes.
The topiary process simply involves a dense bush and a talented individual yielding a pair of garden shears to create a living work of art out of the shrub.