Creating Topiary from a Viburnum

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Apologies if you have read a similar post to this one before.

I made some design changes to my website and mysteriously lost the original. Technology is not my strong suit- I much prefer working with plants.

Last year one of my most satisfying clips was an overgrown Viburnum tinus.

Not the most inspiring shrub. Has small white and pink flowers in winter, and is often used as a hedging plant. But always good to consider hedging plants for creating topiary as they usually respond well to clipping.

The Viburnum

This Viburnum is located on the edge of a driveway, in a small suburban front garden.

I have often walked past the shrub as the house belongs to a friend and could see a basic shape wanting to escape from the unruly growth.

Didn’t take long to persuade my friend to let me have a go with my clippers.

The Process

Very simple to create topiary from this shrub. I removed a lot of the growth from underneath and lifted the canopy to expose the stems.

I then clipped the remaining leafy growth on top into a dome shape. Here’s a short video of the process:

Will the Viburnum flower?

Surprisingly this Viburnum did have a few flowers in early Winter, which I wasn’t expecting.

I thought I would have removed most of the flower buds by clipping in September, but must have missed a few.

Viburnum Tinus

Flowers are often lost with topiary. The preference is for green shapes.

But if you do want to have a few flowers on a Viburnum tinus then clip soon after flowering- allows time for new buds to form. The one downside is you won’t be able to maintain a tight topiary shape throughout the year.

If this post has tempted you to have a go at creating topiary from a Viburnum tinus then check out the RHS website for information about growing the shrub.

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By James Todman

Topiary Specialist based in The Cotswolds, UK.

6 replies on “Creating Topiary from a Viburnum”

Thank you for all your advices !
I have a question : do you think it is possible with a laurel (in France we say palm laurel, don’t know if it is the right Name in english….sorry)
Nice day

Thanks James for the advice. I’m trying to grow a Viburnum tinus into a rectangle so your article has given me confidence to clip the shrub. Design changes to website looking good.

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