Topiary Treasures

Fashion a forest of topiaries for less than $20.


Fashion a forest of topiaries. Present them to office mates, teachers, neighbors, and friends.

Time: An afternoon

Cost: Less than $20 for a whole forest of topiaries

Skill Level: Beginner

More indoor potted plant ideas: Herbs in the winter. Find out how to grow them.

Boxwood Bushes

Create tiered globe bushes using sprigs of boxwood. Clip sprigs from bushes in your yard or order from a florist. These wonderful little topiaries will stay green for at least one month.

What You Need:
  • Florist's foam
  • Boxwood sprigs
  • Bamboo stick
  • A pretty pot
Instructions:

1. Use a paring knife to cut florist's foam into 3 globes (same size or graduated sizes).

2. Soak foam globes in water.

3. Set first foam globe into the pot. Stack second and third globes atop the pot. To hold the globes in place, slip a bamboo stick through the top globes and into the foam in the pot.

4. Insert 2-inch boxwood sprigs into the soaked foam. It will take a while to cover a form, but the boxwood aroma makes it a pleasant task.

Caring for Boxwood Bushes

Enclose a card with your topiary gift, providing the following care instructions: To keep the boxwood topiary fresh and green, keep the florist's foam damp. Mist the topiary daily. Occasionally remove the topiary from the pot and soak the form in water.

Ivy Topiary

An ivy topiary is an elegant, growing gift that lasts for years.

What You Need:
  • Mature ivy plants (varieties of Hedera helix)
  • A pretty pot and saucer
  • Potting soil
  • Raffia
  • A wire topiary form, available at florist's shops, or make your own
Instructions:

1. Put potting soil in pot. Sink wire form into soil. Dampen the soil.

2. Plant ivy sprigs in the soil. Twine the ivy up the wire form.

3. Use raffia to loosely tie the ivy to the form.

Caring for Ivy Topiary

Enclose a card with your topiary gift, providing the following care instructions: To keep your ivy growing, set the plant in an area that is light enough for daytime reading. When the soil feels barely damp, soak the plant. After an hour, pour off excess water in the saucer. Once a week, spray the leaves with lukewarm water.

Two Ways to Make a Topiary Form

1. Anchor bamboo sticks into the soil, near the edges of the pot. Tie with raffia to form a tepee.

2. Customize a tomato cage. Cut off the top of the cage several inches above the bottom hoop. Tie the legs together. Turn the cage upside down and secure the clipped ends into the soil.


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