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Learning to clip with EBTS UK

A part of the remit for the EBTS is to teach topiary skills and share knowledge on the craft.

Over the last few years we have been running Learn To Clip courses all over the UK – and in Sweden! – in order to allow as many people as possible to get a taste for what they need to know in order to clip.

The courses vary from 3 hours to a full day, and cover:

  • Tools needed to make topiary, how to sharpen and keep them clean
  • Technique for clipping
  • Plants to use and how to deal with pests and diseases
  • Composition of topiary
  • How to design and make shapes classical, modern or abstract

The days are intense, we cover a lot of information, but because topiary is a mix of both craft – working with your hands, and art – being creative and committing to a shape – we find people leave tired but thrilled and excited to do more clipping in their garden at home, or for clients.

Clipping guidance

Courses have taken place at:

  • Capel Manor Gunnersbury Park x 3 (West London)
  • Capel Manor Enfield x 2 (East London)
  • Northern Gardening School (Yorkshire)
  • Gunnebo Castle (Sweden)
  • Griselda Kerr’s garden (Derbyshire)
  • Cadenham Manor (Wiltshire)
  • Balmoral Cottage (Kent)
  • RHS Hyde Hall x 2
  • Bridge End Gardens

Spreading the craft skills

With somewhere in the region of 200 students given the knowledge they need, and some practical experience, to begin clipping… several of these students have gone on to become topiarists themselves.

Interested in a course?

If you would like a course to be run for your class or group, please get in contact by emailing

What else do we do?

Demonstrations at events such as at Levens Hall for World Topiary Day 2023 and the RHS Plant Society Weekend at Wisley.

Talks and seminars via Zoom or in person

Guidance on pests, diseases and topiary renovation or design

Contact us by email