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Topiary: How to Shape a Hedge into Anything

Have you ever seen a hedge and wondered how in the world the trimmers got it to look that way? Did you wish you knew how to do it?</br></br>Well, get ready.</br></br>Topiary is the practice of shaping hedges into works of art, but this guide will start off simple for those of you who are just looking for tips on how to trim a hedge.</br></br><strong>Tip 1: Safety</strong></br></br>Always trim with safety goggles and gloves, at the very minimum. If you’re going to be trimming over your head, you may want to add a safety hat to your ensemble.</br></br>Next, make sure your blades are sharp and <a title="Hedge Trimmers" href="http://www.atgstores.com/tools/outdoor-power-equipment/trimmers-edgers/hedge-trimmers/" target="_blank">your trimmer is in good working order</a>. If it’s in good shape, you’re in good shape.</br></br><strong>Tip 2: Technique</strong></br></br>Whether you’re trimming the sides or the top, you want to practice a slow and even sweeping motion. Move back and forth and try to keep a steady hand. Take breaks if your trimmer starts feeling heavy.</br></br>Chances are good you’ll trim hedges that are close to your home or other building. Be sure to keep your blade away from the wall, especially if you’re working against vinyl siding.</br></br>Here are some specific tips:</br></br><em>Rough Cut vs. Final Cut: </em>Your technique should include a rough cut (which may take one or two passes with the blade) and a final, finishing cut to get the hedge line just where you want it.</br></br><em>Guidelines: </em>If you’re trimming along a building, use available lines (bricks, mortar, vinyl seams, etc.) to guide your blade.</br></br><strong>Tip 3: Topiary &amp; Wire Mesh</strong></br></br>Wire mesh is the secret behind many of the cool hedge shapes you see. Topiarists bend wire around a shrub in the shape they want to create, allow the shrub to grow through the wire and then trim it by cutting along the outline.</br></br>The wire can then be removed to give the shape an even cleaner look, but many people will cut just above the wire so the shape is achieved while leaving the mesh covered.</br></br><strong>Tip 4: Topiary &amp; DIY Frames</strong></br></br>Wire mesh isn’t the only thing you can use to guide your blade as you turn a shrub into your own personal masterpiece. Some people also use rope or wood to build frames that serve the same purpose and are used the same way as mesh.</br></br>Try these different tips to create yard art that will have the neighbors snapping selfies with your bushes in no time.
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