Topiary Standard

We used Shamrock, a fast-growing ivy, for quick results.
The Basics

This easy project is a
great centerpiece for a
garden party.

While the sheared topiaries of formal gardens can take years to attain a recognizable form, tabletop versions are instantly satisfying. Made with fast-growing English ivy on a wire frame, this topiary standard is part houseplant, part living sculpture.


Step 1

1. Assemble your materials. The standard tree form is a favorite for trained-up topiary. In addition to the wire frame, you'll need a suitable container and a potted English ivy with at least five leafy stems 24 inches or longer. Ivies sold in hanging baskets often have long stems, which help to create a full look quickly.

Step 2

2. Insert the frame. Some topiary frames have a wire prong that you simply stab into the soil. Sturdier frames have extra wires to anchor the base. To insert the frame, split the root ball in half by pulling the ivy stems to the sides, creating a "part" among the stems.

Continued on page 2:  Final Steps