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Perfect Topiaries in Beautiful Garden Pots


Whether you would like to add beauty to your deck, patio or landscape, topiaries create elegance and are perfect for any garden.  Create a focal point in your garden herb collection with potted herb topiary at the kitchen door.


Consider growing topiary to add height and a formal touch to your container garden or simply create fun design for a conversation piece.  Topiaries are made by clipping plants into a great variety of forms – by tradition, they can be either geometric shape or animal figures.  Wire forms have made it very easy to style topiaries into various shapes and sizes. 


The most popular choice for covering the wire forms is ivy – there are English Ivy, Variegated Algerian Ivy and Swedish Ivy.  Look for cultivars that feature interesting, variegated or deeply cut leaves. Try creating a topiary that features two different ivies with contrasting shapes and colors.  There are a great many choices for your wire-form topiaries such as Creeping fig, Jasmines, Purple bell vine and Trailing abutilon. To train a plant to a form, simply insert the form in the pot or container, fasten the stems to whatever part of the form you want to cover.  Use coated wire of soft string ties to secure the plant’s stems to the form as they grow.


Most suitable for container gardens is the classic form of topiary – pruned cones or spheres of foliage.  What is required, however, is a beautiful pot or planter to show off your handy work.  For balance, usually the container is similar in size to the mature head of the topiary’s foliage. This green sculpture is the standard, a plant that has been trained so that it has a single, bare stem topped by a dense, rounded, leafy top.  Training a standard takes a bit of patience, however, you can begin with one already started in your garden center or nursery. Roses as well as herbs such as common myrtle, sweet bay and rosemary are traditional plants for standards.  Others may be Flowering maples, Scented geraniums, Lantana and Coleus.  Small leaved evergreen plants are most suitable for topiary training as well. 


To create a standard, train a single-stemmed plant up a long stake, then trim the tip of the plan to form a rough ball on top of the stem.  Make sure the stem is not tied too tightly to the stake or the ties can cut off the supply of water and nutrients to the top of the plant.  As the main stem grows, gradually remove any side branches started at the base of the plant.  Once the main stem has reached the desired height, pinch the tips of the branches at the top regularly to encourage a full rounded ball of foliage.  


Care for topiaries the same way you would regular plants of the same type.  The only extra step you need to do is trim the plant regularly to maintain the shape.  Fast growing plants may need trimming every few weeks to keep their shape – slower growing species may not need clipping once or twice a year.


It's easy to buy ready-trained topiary, but it's fun and satisfying to make your own.


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