Try Your Hand at Sculpting: Shaping Your Hedges and Bushes


Topiary pig anyone?

Bushes and hedges often form stunningly beautiful focal pieces that complement home architectural designs.

You’ve probably walked past homes that include perfectly manicured bushes and hedges. Do you wonder how the homeowners do it? And no, they probably didn’t have to enroll at the Royal College of Art first.

They simply followed a few simple tips to create shape for bushes and hedges.

Gather the Tools

Commonly referred to as topiary, creating shapes for your hedges and bushes requires some hard work and using the right tools to produce a masterpiece.

Here are the tools you will need for shaping bushes and hedges:

  • String
  • Wire mesh
  • Hedge trimmer
  • Wooden stakes
  • Section of bamboo
  • Hand shears

Do not forget to wear protective clothing, especially around your hands and arms. Electric hedge trimmers require a RCD adaptor to prevent electrical shocks during power surges.

How to Give a Hedge the Straight Edge Look

British residents typically prefer to create hedges that present straight edge appearances. Straight edge hedges make perfect boundaries to define property perimeters. The simple method for shaping bushes and hedges involves using an electric hedge trimmer and by eyesight alone, pruning the top of hedges in a straight line. Occasionally, you should stand back from your work to ensure the edges possess straight cuts. You can also thread string through a section of bamboo to produce a guide that keeps you on the straight cutting path.

How to Slope a Hedge

Sloped hedges present a visually appealing alternative to straight edge hedges, except creating slope hedges requires precision and additional time spent on the project. Use the same cutting guide principle we used to create straight edge hedges, but this time, use pieces of string and wooden stakes to help you determine where to cut on a hedge. The key is to ensure every area of a hedge receives sunlight. Otherwise you can expect the areas to turn brown and eventually die.

The Irregular Shaped Hedge

Some homeowners have the talent or hire professional landscapes to create innovative hedge shapes, such as animals and automobiles. The impressive appearance of irregular shaped hedges makes a home stick out in a neighborhood of nicely kept lawns and gardens. Create metal mesh that fits securely around a bush or hedge. Sit the frame on the top of a hedge or bush and slowly cut around the mesh. You should trim on a regular basis to encourage a hedge or bush to grow into the shape you envision.

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