How to trim topiaries

From simple shapes in garden borders to bold and creative centerpieces, neatly clipped topiaries add character and style to any garden. And luckily, trimming topiaries is often much easier than you’d think. You really don’t need years’ of gardening experience to do a great job. 


Here, we’ll outline our “connect the dots” technique. You’ll just need a clean and sharpened pair of garden shears. We always recommend using shears instead of clippers – they’ll help you follow a straight line much more easily.


Watch our tutorial or follow the steps below.

Connect the dots: our step-by-step guide.


  1. Take a look at the topiary from a birds-eye perspective. Visualize the shape you want as an outline. 
  2. Following this outline, clip slowly from top to bottom. Here, we’re trimming lightly to get the basic shape.
  3. Repeat this same process on each side of the topiary. By now, you’ll have cut the main points of the pyramid shape.
  4. Now, go back and trim the remaining foliage from point to point – just connect the dots!
  5. Finally, neaten the edges to get the best finish. Run your hand over each side to spot any shoots you might have missed.
Use this technique to clip topiaries into any shape you’d like. It’s an easy opportunity to add creativity and style to your garden!
Markel Gardens

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