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  It’s Time for Topiaries!
  November 19th, 2004

With the Holidays just around the corner, now is the time to discover how easy it is to create beautiful topiaries to grace your doorways, fireplaces, patios, porches, and walkways.

They look great wrapped in battery-operated mini lights and trimmed with red, gold, or silver bows. Use them indoors or out; you can even give them as gifts!

Here are two designs that will bring instant results:

Cone-Shaped Topiary

  • You’ll need a nice bushy 5-gallon wax leaf privet, dwarf euonymus or Japanese boxwood.
  • Those 3 ft. or 5 ft. cone-shaped tomato cages make a great guide for cone-shaped topiaries. Just bind the spikes together at the top with strong wire. You can also use cone-shaped chicken wire forms or 4 ft. bamboo stakes lashed at one end and formed into a teepee shape.
  • Plant the shrub into a decorative container.
  • Place the form around the shrub and use sharp clippers to trim branches into the cone shape.
  • For a bit of extra charm, you can plant it in a 16″ diameter pot, then plant variegated ivy and/or other trailing perennials around the edges of the pot.

    3-Tier Topiary

  • privet, Hollywood juniper, or Japanese boxwood in the 5 gallon size to create a beautiful 3-tier topiary.
  • Divide the shrub into 3 sections top to bottom.
  • Use bright ribbon or tape to mark the top and bottom of the space between balls. (In the next step, you will trim between these markers.)
  • Using sharp clippers, form the space between balls by trimming the branches off all the way to the main trunk.
  • Next trim the branches of each section to form the globes or balls.
  • Also consider combining the ball shape with the cone-shaped topiary above, and make yourself a 2-tier “ball and cone” topiary — ball on the bottom unless you want to be truly avant-garde!

    Use a good potting soil such as Kellogg’s Potting Soil and fertilize with Nutri-Pak or Osmocote to keep your topiaries in the best of shape.

    Both topiaries can be done in an afternoon at a much lower cost than buying them ready made. Get started now so they’re in top form for the holidays.

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