Making Topiaries
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Topiaries are trees and shrubs that are assiduously trimmed into geometric or animal shapes. City parks usually do some topiary work by trimming trees into simple shapes like that of a lollipop. But, you don’t have to work with an existing shrub or tree to shape it into topiary for your home garden. You can start making topiaries with a frame, over which you will grow a plant, giving the effect of true topiary without the necessity for ladders, saws, and professional-grade trimmers.

Plants You Can Use

Many different climbing plants can be trained for making topiaries. The best ones are those with long vines. Climbing Ivy is the most commonly used plant because of its lush green color, year-round beauty and fast growth. You can use Bougainvillea, Creeping Fig, Jasmine and Mandeville as well.

Materials Needed

  • Snips or sharp scissors
  • Topiary frame
  • Nylon fishing line (12-14 lb.)
  • Sphagnum (Peat) moss
  • Bucket of water
  • Plant
  • Pot with a drainage hole
  • Potting soil
  • Black hairpins

Method For Making Topiaries

    1. Soak sphagnum moss in water until it is completely saturated.
    2. Fill the pot with soil and place the topiary frame in its center. Pack the soil around the frame tightly to secure it in place.
    3. Squeeze the moss a little and make a ball out of it. Place it in the cavities of the frame and wrap it with the fishing line to give it a desired form.
    4. Separate individual vines from the main plant, making sure that each vine’s root system is intact. Use your finger to make holes in the moss and insert the roots of each vine in them.
    5. Wrap the ivy around the form and secure it in place using hairpins.
    6. Place the longer strands of the plant in the pot and wrap them around the frame’s post to grow upwards. Use the shorter strands to cover the smaller parts of the form.

    Within six months of making the topiary the ivy should cover the frame completely. Keep trimming and pinching it for optimal results. Water and mist it on a regular basis and keep checking for spider mites. Feed it every month with soluble plant food.