That makes topiary sound like sculpture. Isn’t it more about trimming, rather than carving?
If I want to grow a ball, I start with a small shrub and keep cutting it back and it evolves into a ball. For spirals, and other complex shapes though, I’ll start off growing a cone to the right size, and then I’ll carve a spiral out of it, or perhaps, depending on the shape of the cone, carve some different shape.
What is your favourite tool?
My Felco secateurs are just a pleasure to use. I go through a pair every few years; you can replace the blades, but after a few years the handles are starting to go and I get a new pair. I also love my shears. I have about six different shears and I’ll use different ones depending on how I’m feeling and what I’m cutting.
Top: Favourite Felco Secateurs; Bottom L-R Spirals and topiary
What’s with the 1971 Ford Fairmont XY in your garage?
The car’s set up for drag-racing. I take it out to the racetrack at Eastern Creek, start the car and little horns grow out the top of my head. The car has a powerful V8 engine and I love the sound of it, it sings to me. It’s very loud and it still sings. And, strange as it sounds, it’s really peaceful at the drags. There are some pretty tough-looking people there but everyone is happy.
Pictures: Nicholas Watt