simple is beautiful

Ivy Topiary

Monday, November 9, 2009

Do you ever have a duh moment?  That's what happened to me the other day when I read the December issue of Martha Stewart Living.  Andrew Beckman shows how to make absolutely gorgeous topiaries and recommends buying hanging baskets of ivy (this was my duh moment).  I never thought to use hanging baskets and so I decided that today was the day to try it.  I must admit, this is definitely the way to go.

To make 4 topiaries, divide your hanging basket into four equal parts.

Next place something over the hole in your pot to prevent soil from washing out of the bottom.  I usually keep pieces from broken pots to serve this purpose.
Next, start potting the ivy.  I add a sprinkle of Osmocote to everything.

For the forms, I use clothes hangers.  Just tweak them until you have the shape that you want.  I recommend using needle nose pliers to help with this step.  Then press the straightened hook part of the hanger into the soil until it is snug.  Don't worry, it doesn't have to be perfect.  If you want perfect topiary forms, check with your local garden shop.

Start wrapping the ivy clockwise around the form.  When you get to the end, give it a snip.  Do this until you have finished with all of the long strands.  I usually trim the short pieces that are left over.

To make the smaller circular topiary (shown below), I used this kind of clothes hanger.  When you take off the cardboard, there are hooks in each end that can be connected with needle nose pliers.
For the larger topiary, I used two regular clothes hangers, bending them into a triangular shape and placing the bases opposite each other in the pot.  Have I lost you yet?
 
Not bad for $15.00 huh?

12 comments:

  1. So beautiful and so simple! I love topiaries!! I had a heart one a long time ago....killed it and miss it!!! Maybe you have inspired me to try again!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Mama Holli

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  2. I love this idea!! Topiaries can be so expensive, this is such a great money saving idea! And great looking too!!

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  3. Thanks so much for sharing this! I've often admired them but was to lazy to stop and figure out how to do them. Now I know! :-) Have a good day...

    pk @ Room Remix

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  4. I'm going to try this with the ivy growing all over my TV cabinet. Thanks for reminding us of this idea. Enjoy the day.

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  5. Fabulous!!! I bought a heart topiary from Home Depot in the spring. It was fabulous for about a month & then it died. I guess I don't have a green thumb. I'm thinking of wrapping it with faux ivy. I can't kill that!!! Thanks for sharing how easy it is to make our own. Now if only I could make my thumb green.

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  6. What a great gift idea ! Coat hangers, who would have thought!!

    blessings
    mary

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  7. Love this!! You would pay a fortune if you bought these at a store!!! Great idea!! they look beautiful!

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  8. Such an economical solution to divide a hanging basket. I've given up on trying to grow ivy because I think I have a black thumb. I killed two ivy plants before finally breaking down and getting low maintenance indoor plants that are basically impossible to kill. You have a much greener thumb! Your topiaries turned out great!

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  9. As always Rene, brilliant! I think that even I could do that! I can't wait to try this in the spring!
    Thanks for linking! : )

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I love your comments and read each and every one. Your questions will be answered here or you can email me at rene.cottageandvine@gmail.com

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