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Mansfield Magazine

Table Top Topiary

May 20, 2013 01:30PM ● By Lisa Drake
The whimsical pursuit of creating topiaries – plants pruned into decorative shapes - attracts gardeners seeking a new challenge.  Many types of plants are well-suited to shaping, including the herb rosemary shown here, as well as hollies, ivies, and boxwood. Or try flowering plants such as lantana, fuchsia, and hydrangeas.  Jasmine and other vines lend themselves well to being trained into shapes on wires as well.
You will need:
  • a plant
  • a pot
  • potting soil
  • floral wire
  • pruners
  • wire cutters

Select a plant with a strong upright shape and a good 'leader' – a distinctive branch growing upward in the center for a pruned topiary, or a vine with several branches for a wreath shape.
Transplant your selection into a flower pot slightly larger than the root ball so it will have room to grow.

For a pruned topiary:
Prune all lateral (side) branches off of the base of the plant about 1/3 of the way up.  Clip the top off of the remaining branches so that they will start to bush out and create a globe shape.  As your plant continues to grow, keep pruning the lateral branches from the bottom and shaping the globe.  Your topiary will continue to grow taller, so eventually you may need to stake the leader.

For a wreath topiary (like the one shown here):
Plant a jasmine or other evergreen vine in a decorative flower pot.  Using floral wire, create a wreath shape with a stem to secure it into your soil.  Poke the wreath into your pot near the base of your vine, and use more wire to fasten the branches to your shape.  You may need to prune a few lateral branches off in order to maintain a tight form.  Try other shapes such as hearts or orbs.
Topiaries make lovely gifts, and are wonderful additions to a container display outdoors or as a tabletop centerpiece.  Now you can create your own!

For more DIY garden ideas follow Mary Phillips of Forgotten Works Garden Gallery on Facebook or their website at

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