How to make animal topiaries

Written by sarah terry
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Animal topiaries are interesting landscape additions to any yard. In short, topiaries are shrubs, bushes or other plants framed and pruned to resemble different shapes, often animals. Most often seen in elaborate and expensive gardens, animal topiaries offer a unique and interesting element to a green space. And although topiaries look elaborate and complicated to create, they're really easier to make than you might think. Follow these simple steps to make your own animal topiaries.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Chicken wire frame
  • Pruning shears
  • Shrub or bush
  • Watering can or hose
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Ivy or succulents

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Instructions

    Create Animal Topiaries that Make a Big Impact

  1. 1

    Purchase a preformed chicken wire frame in the shape of your desired animal. If you've never created an animal topiary, buying a frame is easiest. You can, however, purchase chicken wire and create your own frame if you're feeling especially ambitious. You can find the preformed animal topiary frames at home-improvement or garden stores.

  2. 2

    Place the frame over your selected bush or shrub. Push the branches through the wires.

  3. 3

    Trim the branches at the point where they stick out of the wiring. If you trim and prune the branches back to the wiring regularly, the shrub will begin to grow around the wiring.

    Start Small: Animal Topiaries that Go Anywhere

  1. 1

    Stuff the animal topiary frame with sphagnum moss to create a smaller topiary that is easier to shape and maintain.

  2. 2

    Insert succulents or ivy between the wires into the moss. The ivy or other trailing plant will grow around the wire frame.

  3. 3

    Place the topiary in the sun or shade, and water, according to the needs of the plants you use.

Tips and warnings

  • If you're creating the animal topiary from a bush or shrub, make sure to place the topiary in the sun and water it regularly.
  • Don't use a moss-based topiary for a large frame. The moss type of topiary is best for small animal frames.

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