The art of shaping trees

TOPIARY LOVE: Andrew and Kim Scott from Standard Life with one of their popular heart-shaped ivy plants. Pictures by Liam Clayton
ANDREW SCISSORHANDS: Andrew uses a small pair of scissors to shape one of his topiary plants at the nursery in Ormond.

Hand scissors are the tool of trade for topiarists Andrew and Kim Scott, who talked to Kim Parkinson about their thriving business.

Topiary conjures up images of Edward Scissorhands’ massive blades creating wonderful shapes out of trees and hedges but for Andrew and Kim Scott from Standard Life, a specialist topiary nursery in Ormond, most of the shaping is done with a small pair of hand scissors.

Topiary is the horticultural practice of training perennial plants by clipping the foliage and twigs of trees, shrubs and sub-shrubs to develop and maintain clearly defined shapes, whether geometric or fanciful.

Andrew and Kim Scott bought the business in 1998.

“It was pretty run-down and we have completely redeveloped it,” said Andrew.

They hand-cut the shape, tend the plant, and trim it regularly to achieve a quality topiary product.

The nursery produces 20 different plant varieties which are shaped into over 50 different topiary products.

The most popular topiary varieties are the Buxus sempervirens (English Box hedge), Lonicera nitida (Portugese Bay), Prunus lusitanica, Myrtus ugni, Laurus nobilis, Teucrium fruiticans and Michelia, Viburnum, and Camellia.

A range of table top topiary that make great gifts are also grown, which include Lonicera bowls and cones and Ivy cones, rings and hearts.

They also have available a number of topiary suitable for the kitchen garden. These include: Myrtus ugni (cranberry), Laurus nobilis (Bay), Olea europaea (Olive) and Rosmarinus, which are all in constant demand said Kim.

Business is booming with large orders coming in from all over the country.

“A large proportion of our plants go to the South Island but demand comes from all over.”

There is a focus on growing a range of large grade topiary to meet the needs of landscapers.

These larger grade plants can help to provide landscapers with an “instant garden” for their clients.

Andrew said spring was his favourite time of year.

“It’s definitely the busiest time. We’re potting up plants, and the plants already growing need trimming because of all the new growth. It’s also a busy times in terms of supplying garden centres around the country,” he said.

Under the watchful eye of this experienced couple, plants receive a great start in the excellent growing conditions of the region.

All plants are developed outside, and are therefore hardy and able to cope with the changing climate.

Over the years, Andrew and Kim have changed the range of plants they grow to keep up with trends, and sell only those varieties that are hardy and require minimal maintenance to ensure they look good both in the garden centre and in the garden.

Hand scissors are the tool of trade for topiarists Andrew and Kim Scott, who talked to Kim Parkinson about their thriving business.

Topiary conjures up images of Edward Scissorhands’ massive blades creating wonderful shapes out of trees and hedges but for Andrew and Kim Scott from Standard Life, a specialist topiary nursery in Ormond, most of the shaping is done with a small pair of hand scissors.

Topiary is the horticultural practice of training perennial plants by clipping the foliage and twigs of trees, shrubs and sub-shrubs to develop and maintain clearly defined shapes, whether geometric or fanciful.

Andrew and Kim Scott bought the business in 1998.

“It was pretty run-down and we have completely redeveloped it,” said Andrew.

They hand-cut the shape, tend the plant, and trim it regularly to achieve a quality topiary product.

The nursery produces 20 different plant varieties which are shaped into over 50 different topiary products.

The most popular topiary varieties are the Buxus sempervirens (English Box hedge), Lonicera nitida (Portugese Bay), Prunus lusitanica, Myrtus ugni, Laurus nobilis, Teucrium fruiticans and Michelia, Viburnum, and Camellia.

A range of table top topiary that make great gifts are also grown, which include Lonicera bowls and cones and Ivy cones, rings and hearts.

They also have available a number of topiary suitable for the kitchen garden. These include: Myrtus ugni (cranberry), Laurus nobilis (Bay), Olea europaea (Olive) and Rosmarinus, which are all in constant demand said Kim.

Business is booming with large orders coming in from all over the country.

“A large proportion of our plants go to the South Island but demand comes from all over.”

There is a focus on growing a range of large grade topiary to meet the needs of landscapers.

These larger grade plants can help to provide landscapers with an “instant garden” for their clients.

Andrew said spring was his favourite time of year.

“It’s definitely the busiest time. We’re potting up plants, and the plants already growing need trimming because of all the new growth. It’s also a busy times in terms of supplying garden centres around the country,” he said.

Under the watchful eye of this experienced couple, plants receive a great start in the excellent growing conditions of the region.

All plants are developed outside, and are therefore hardy and able to cope with the changing climate.

Over the years, Andrew and Kim have changed the range of plants they grow to keep up with trends, and sell only those varieties that are hardy and require minimal maintenance to ensure they look good both in the garden centre and in the garden.

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