Clip into Shape

Pom-pom and spiral shrubs may look difficult, but are surprisingly easy to make and maintain.
The Real Thing

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For a fraction of what a
garden shop charges, you
can create a spiral topiary
at home in an hour or two.

These days, most potted concoctions labeled "topiary" are a far cry from the real thing. Dried moss glued to foam balls is to real topiary what a stuffed toy is to a flesh-and-bone tiger. True topiary is a living ornament made from live shrubs and trees that are snipped and clipped into a wide variety of shapes, including pyramids, spirals, pom-poms, or even animals.

Fortunately, tackling true topiary on your own is easy, as long as you know the basics. And it costs relatively little. Purchase a 6-foot topiary spiral tree like the one shown and you can expect to pay about $250. But shape one yourself -- it takes only an hour or two -- and it'll cost about $50. Read on to learn how.

Continued on page 2:  Mark the Spot



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