Topiary Craft



Date: Sunday 25 October 2020

Time: 9am - 12pm

Where: Mount Lofty Botanic Garden Nursery, Lampert Road, Picadilly, SA, 5152

Cost: $95 per person - BOOK HERE

Please note that an online booking fee applies. Bookings and payments made by calling 08 8222 9311 will not incur a booking fee.

About the course:

Learn how to start your own topiary collection for your garden!

The fascinating art of topiary isn't new and in fact, it dates back to the first century AD when Roman Gardeners began shaping trees and shrubs by regular trimming and garden craft.

Topiary then entered the European gardening’s mainstream during the Italian Renaissance, when gardeners turned back to ancient Rome and Greece for inspiration.

Join this practical and hands-on workshop to discover:

  • The craft’s rich history and its link to ornamental horticulture. 
  • Modern topiary, exploring world class examples
  • How to grow, train and maintain your own topiary collection.
  • Different topiary forms, such as geometric shapes such as balls, cubes, obelisks, pyramids, cones and topiary spirals.

In the workshop, you will select a plant from the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium's Nursery and start the training process.

All plants worked on in class can be taken home for you to start your own topiary plant and carry on the ancient tradition!

This workshop will cover:

  • Tools, equipment and safety: types, tip and correct use
  • Plant selection
  • Topiary design basics and geometric shapes
  • Techniques for formal hedging
  • Espaliering and other plant training techniques

Location directions:

The workshop will take place in the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden Nursery - enter via the trade gate to the right of the Lower Carpark entrance (Lampert Road) and follow the road to the Nursery. Download a map from our website.

Presenter: Matt Coulter

Matt Coulter has worked in the horticultural nursery industry for the past 35 years, including five years in a specialised topiary production nursery in NSW.

Matt is currently the curator of Plant Propagation at the Adelaide, Mount Lofty and Wittunga Botanic Gardens managing the propagation and growing of new plant material for the Gardens.

Matt is widely known for his innovative work in propagating one of the world's most fascinating plants - the Amorphophallus titanum. Matt's work has seen the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium of South Australia amass one of the world's largest collections of this threatened species.

Matt has worked in a broad range of technical and highly specialised propagation roles, and has traveled extensively around the world visiting many of the top formal gardens participating in topiary designs.



The safety and wellbeing of our visitors, volunteers and staff remains our highest priority and, in preparation for welcoming back groups to our programmes, we have implemented new COVID-19 compliant protocols to offer a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants, whilst minimising the risk of COVID-19.

Measures include:

  • Small group sizes to ensure physical distancing can be adhered to, whilst not impacting on the quality of the learning experience
  • Extra cleaning regimes in place before, during and after each session
  • Participants and staff must maintain physical distance (1.5m)
  • Participants and staff must practise good hygiene before, during and after sessions
  • Participants must not attend if they are unwell and/or exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms

For more information and updates on the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please see LATEST NEWS.