Mountfitchet Garden Club

News: May 2023


Our speaker, Darren Lerigo, works all over the UK and in New York, creating and maintaining topiary. He explained that topiary (the creative pruning of shrubs) is a beautiful art form which can transform a garden.


Learning his skills over several years he explained that good tools, kept sharp, are essential. One hint is to hold shears close to the blades and not at the end of the handles; only move one blade, using the other to guide. This method can be used for secateurs and scissors too, but does need practice.

Box has for many years been the favourite shrub, but the box caterpillar infestation has seen the demise of many plants. Yew, hornbeam, privet, pittosporum, holly and bay are some of the possible alternatives.


Mixing leaf colour and form can make hedges more interesting but it takes time, especially if you are starting with bare rootstock. In established gardens members were encouraged to be brave, especially when it is the first cut.


The photographs below show some of the designs he has created and maintains.

All images taken from Darren’s website:

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