Adding topiary to your front yard can enhance your home’s curb appeal and give a formal or artistic touch. Finding topiary in your local garden center could be costly; a topiary takes time to grow and special pruning to clip it into shape. But if you have a mature shrub in your yard, you may be able to make a poodle topiary yourself.
The goal with a poodle topiary is to make the shrub look like a string of balls. You can prune many shrubs into this topiary shape, including Yew, Cherry Laurel, Cypress, Privet, and Pittosporum.
To begin, decide how many balls you would like. Two or three is typical. Then, decide if you would like each ball to be the same size, or if you would like the bottom ball to be bigger than the second, and then the second ball bigger than the top.
It helps to tie a ribbon where you would like to make your pruning cuts. Then, cut the branches below and above the ribbon to clear a space between the balls.
If you have a multi-stemmed shrub, you can keep the thicker branches intact and just cut out the smaller branches and leaves; it will still look like there is space between two balls.
After you have cleared space between the balls, make small pruning cuts to shape as desired. You can attempt to make perfectly round balls, or you can make the balls flat on the top–or be as creative as you like.
The nice thing about working with plants is that if you don’t like how your garden artwork project turned out, the leaves will grow back.