1. Fill the pot. Place a layer of broken terra-cotta pieces or loose gravel in the bottom of a decorative pot to provide good drainage for the ivy. Fill the container with good-quality potting soil; tamp down soil.
2. Add form. Place the topiary form into the soil, carefully centering the form within the container. The topiary base should be level with the soil and sit firmly in place.
3. Insert sticks. For a form with a central spine, such as this spiral, use hyacinth sticks to anchor it in soil. Insert four sticks closely around central spine; work into soil. Holding the sticks against the spine, wire to the form with florist's wire.
4. Train plants. If using a hanging basket of ivy, carefully separate the plants into several sections, with each having at least one long trailer. Or, use several small pots of ivy, each with a long trailer. Working with one section at a time, remove enough soil to make room for the root ball; plant the ivy. Pack down the plants, adding more soil as necessary. Continue planting ivy until the pot is filled out. The ivy will quickly spread, so leave space for the plants to grow.
Continued on page 3: Final Steps