- For a lush look instantly, opt for hanging baskets. You can plant them in the upper basket or the bottom pot. Before placing the plant in the upper wire basket, remove the hanging plant from its pot. Position it on top of the pole and push down, piercing the root ball through the middle. (This does little damage to the plant.)
- Topiary systems look great indoors, too. They can be filled with ferns, ivy, African violets, Philodendrons, begonias, and just about any other houseplant. For a display that will last for years, try a dried flower arrangement.
- Water frequently. The upper basket dries out easily because it's exposed to the most air. Moisten daily in warm weather.
- For even more color in the top basket, part the vining stems of a hanging plant and tuck in some taller-growing annuals, such as Vinca, geraniums, or salvia.
Topiary has a long and distinguished history in Europe. Traditionally, it entails the pruning of trees and shrubs into geometric or fanciful shapes, such as rabbits or squirrels. When a plant is trimmed into a globelike form atop a long trunk, it is called a standard.
Topiary was practiced in Roman times, but it was the 16th- and 17th- century Italian, French, and Dutch gardeners who made it high art, often taking a decade or longer to create a finished shape.