Sunday, July 19, 2009

Creating simple Topiary

God made rainy days so gardeners could get housework done
-Author unknown.

Okay not housework, but topiary.
I love topiary. I don't know why. Maybe it is my lust for control ... over something... really anything. Heaven knows I live in a house with teenagers who have schedules we accomplish at breakneck speeds .
The thought of being a lady of leisure, carefully clipping life back into shape some how appeals to me. A metaphor I know, but a woman can dream. I love topiary in the garden, the house, and in my needlework. The elegant balance of the formal hedges and the wild riot of flowers.

Remember these?

How to create embroidered topiary.

Recycling an old artificial Christmas tree into topiary.

Do these look familiar? From the fall wedding. Let me take you back. And here.
They are now painted white and in the garden. They will soon be topiary too.

A wire frame is the simplest and fastest way to create a topiary. Here is an inexpensive version you can create yourself.

Start with an inexpensive ivy or any kind of vine with long tendrils.

Using either an aluminum or brass wire hanger (they don't rust)
bend the wire to create a circle. You can use your hands or flip a bucket upside down and use it as a form. Straighten the hook. It should look like the example to the right.
You can create any shape, I just choose a circle.

Place the straightened end of the coat hanger into the center of the pot. Push it securely into the dirt.

Wrap the long tendrils of ivy around the wire circle. Add a second wire coat hanger and wire together on top where they meet.

Finished it is a pretty ivy ball for my kitchen counter.

When the plant is a little fuller, I can add another coat hanger and create 3 rings. It is that simple.

Next blog a humble tomato cage gets the Cinderella treatment. With a wave of spray paint and wire, it will transformed into a stunning addition to your garden. (and it won't turn into a pumpkin at midnight)
Take care,


  1. I'm with you Debra - I think topiary is delightful. This year I'm planning to make some topiary using rosemary. If it works I'll share pictures. There is the nicest topiary nursery in Tasmania outside of a town called Richmond. A beautiful place full of old sandstone homes and shops and a fantastic stone bridge. One of the oldest in Australia. I think you would love it, the town and nursery that is, not just the bridge! *chuckle* Ann :)

  2. Topiary is so very satisfying! Ann's right, you would love Richmond - you'd love the whole of Tasmania I think!

    I think one of the additional attractions of topiary (for me anyway) is that reminds you to be patient. One of my mottos for life is 'all good things come to those who wait'. Another is 'it's not what you know but who you know' - oh so true!!

  3. I love your topiary. I've also created ones from hangers and ivy in the house.

    I love what you did with the artificial Christmas tree, great idea!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. ps: brilliant idea for that xmas tree.


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