Topiary is the practice of clipping foliage and twigs of plants to have definite shapes. It is like ‘molding’ your plant. The term ‘topiary’ came from the Latin word topiaries, which means an ornamental landscape gardener. There are a variety of shapes that you can mold your plant into. It can be geometric, fanciful, or even animal-shaped! Animal shapes are frequently used today.
Topiaries add beauty to your garden. It may not be as grand as the ones in English gardens, but simple topiaries also have their charm. If you love gardening and you have the creativity in you, topiary might be the one for you. However, you first need to have a topiary frame. Follow the instructions below in making one.
- Choose the shape you want to mold. You can choose whatever shape you want to mold your plant into. If you’re a beginner, you can start with simple shapes first. Animal shapes are often used. Some suggestions are rabbit, cat, or teddy bear. You can also have other simple designs like a star, sun, flower, etc. Geometric shapes like triangle, circle, and diamond can also be used.
- Gather materials. You can get old stuffed toys for your desired shape in your house or get them from thrift shops. Other materials needed are chicken wire, moss, pot, potting soil, and vine plant. Chicken wire is used commonly because it is easy to mold. But you can also use other wires, especially for bigger topiaries, as long as you are able to mold them. The pot must be big enough to hold the frame and must still be stable while maintaining upright. You don’t want a small pot because it will easily tip over.
- Choose comfortable clothes and workplace. You will be working with wire and soil so make sure your clothes are comfortable, won’t hinder you from working, and it’s fine for them to get some dirt. Also choose a comfortable workplace where you can work with ease.
- Mold your desired shape. Get the chicken wire and wrap it around the stuffed toy. Be careful when handling the wire. Mold it according to the form of the toy. Leave an opening on the base of the formed shape. After the molding the shape, pull out the stuffed toy through the opening at the base.
- Plant the vine plant. Stuff the wire with moss and then close the opening at the bottom. Get the pot and add the potting soil. Get the vine plant and plant it into the pot. Get the frame you made and put it over the plant by sticking it with wire. You can also add clippings all over into the moss. For faster growth of the vine plant, you can spray some fertilizer with diluted water.
- Put some artificial vine (optional). You will achieve your desired look of your plant once the vine grows. However, at first, it will look sparse. In the meantime, you can put some artificial vine while waiting for the real vine to grow. You can trim it when the real vine has filled the frame.
Topiary is not just a one-sitting practice. You need to wait for the vine plant to grow for you to see the final product. Aside from this, you need to constantly trim the plant to maintain your desired shape. If you have the patience to do so, topiary will be fun!