Welcome to Top Topiary

Caring for your plants

Caring for bay trees

Common nameBay Tree
Latin name Laurus Nobilis (aka Lauris Nobilis)
Description Evergreen trees or shrubs, with leathery aromatic leaves useful in cooking.
Height / Spread Ultimate height: 12m
Ultimate spread: 12m
Time to ultimate height: 20-50 years
Pruning Bay trees need very little pruning and can be left to their own devices in most cases. Remove diseased, damaged congested or crossing shoots. Shoots that are growing in unwanted directions can also be pruned out. Do this in late winter or early spring, unless late summer or early autumn pruning is specified to avoid bleeding and facilitate rapid healing of cut surfaces. Flowering occurs on previous or current year's growth.
Pests Bay trees can get bay sucker, horse chestnut scale , soft scale and tortrix moth
Diseases Powdery mildews and a leaf spot may be a problem with bay trees
Soil Acid, alkaline or neutral. Well-drained. Chalk, clay, loam or sand
Aspect All aspects. Sun or partial shade. Well drained soil. Exposed or sheltered site
Hardy Yes
Evergreen / Deciduous Evergreen.
Fragrance Foliage
Suggested uses Coastal, hedging / screens or low maintenance

 

Caring for Buxus

Common nameCommon or European Box.
Latin name Buxus Sempervirens.
Description A large, slow-growing evergreen shrub reaching 5m or more, compact in habit, with small, glossy oval or oblong leaves.
Height / Spread Ultimate height: 8m.
Ultimate spread: 8m.
Time to ultimate height: 20-50 year(s).
Pruning These evergreen shrubs need very little pruning and can be left to their own devices in most cases unless shaping is required. Box responds well to clipping and new growth can be trimmed throughout the growing season (June to the end of August) to retain the plant's shape. Clip as lightly as possible during the first year to allow the roots to establish themselves.
Pests May be attacked by aphids, leaf-mining moths, thrips and red spider mite (in hot weather).
Diseases May be subject to a leaf spot. Box Blight can infect the leaves causing spots that lead to rapid defoliation, it quickly moves into the stem tissue killing off smaller branches. Over a few weeks, black streaks appear on the bark and a grey-ish fungus may be seen under the remaining leaves. Within two or three months of infection the entire plant can die. Dseased branches affected by blight should be pruned off at once to avoid spreading the disease to other Box plants, bin or burn infected branches and position affected trees in isolation
Toxicity All parts may cause severe discomfort in ingested.
Soil Acid, alkaline or neutral. Moist but well-drained. Chalk, loam or sand.
Aspect All aspects. Sun or partial shade although excessive summer sunshine can result in scorching - plants will recover from this. Well drained soil. Exposed or sheltered site although plants can suffer from wind-burn on exposed sites.
Hardy Yes.
Feeding Slow release fertiliser in spring with occasional liquid feeds during the growing season to support the plant during through demands made by clipping.
Evergreen / Deciduous Evergreen.
Fragrance Foliage.
Suggested uses Banks and slopes, drought resistant, garden edging, ground cover, hedging / screens, low maintenance, Mediterranean or patio / container plants.

 

Caring for Olive Trees

Common nameOlive Tree
Latin name Olea Europaea.
Description An elegant, slow-growing evergreen plant. The olive tree has grey-green leaves and tiny, fragrant, creamy-white flowers followed by edible, green fruits which slowly turn black in the autumn.
General care Water well in the summer but sparingly in the winter.
Pruning Trim or pinch out shoots during the summer months to retain a balanced shape.
Feeding Feed 2-3 times during the spring and summer with a general purpose fertilizer.
Soil Fertile and free drained soil.
Aspect Prefers a sheltered spot in full sun.
Hardy Established olive tree plants are generally tolerant of light frosts and temperatures down to freezing and olives are able to live outdoors all year in milder parts of the UK. Winter protection may be required during prolonged cold spells. Move into a sheltered area for protection. Can also be brought indoors and placed in a light, airy, well lit spot such as a conservatory or greenhouse.
Flowering Flowering period - summer.
Flower colour – cream, small flowers are lightly scented.
Flowering is followed by the olive fruits.

 

Caring for Yew

Common nameCommon or English Yew
Latin name Taxus Bacaata.
Description Evergreen trees or shrubs of rounded habit, with narrow and dense, leathery linear leaves and, on female plants, conspicuous fleshy red arils surrounding the solitary seeds.
Height / Spread Ultimate height: 15m.
Ultimate spread: 12m.
Time to ultimate height: 20-50 years.
Pruning No regular pruning necessary, but can be trimmed and shaped in early summer as the new growth fades from bright green to dark green. Yew's often second flush of growth in mid-season. To keep their neat appearance, they can also be pruned again in mid-to late August.
Pests May be attacked by tortrix moth, vine weevil, gall mites and scale insects.
Diseases May be subject to phytophthora root diseases.
Toxicity Most parts, especially the seeds, are highly toxic by ingestion.
Soil Acid, alkaline or neutral. Well-drained. Chalk, light clay, loam or sand.
Aspect All aspects. Sun, shade or partial shade. Well drained soil. Exposed or sheltered.
Hardy Yes.
Evergreen / Deciduous Evergreen.
Suggested uses Hedging / screens or low maintenance.