How to Build Topiary Frames

Written by tracy morris
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How to Build Topiary Frames
Topiary may be grown using a wire form. (budha skulptur zwischen bonsai image by lofik from

Topiary are plants that gardeners shape into designs that do not appear in nature to decorate their yard or home. These designs may consist of geometric shapes such as squares, circles and cones, or they may resemble fanciful designs such as woodland animals. A topiary may be a large shrub such as a boxwood, or it may consist of a small potted plant, like a rosemary or an ivy, that has been trained to grow inside a frame.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Stuffed animals
  • Rubber balls
  • Cement statuary
  • Light-gauge chicken wire
  • Floral wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Floral wire pliers
  • Sphagnum peat moss
  • Misting bottle
  • Ivy plants
  • Rosemary plants

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  1. 1

    Locate a base form for your topiary. Good base forms include rubber balls, cement garden statues or stuffed animals.

  2. 2

    Wrap sheets of light-gauge chicken wire over your base form. Clip the edges of the wire with floral wire cutters. Create half of the form at a time.

  3. 3

    Join the two form halves together; wrap floral wire around the seam where the two halves meet, using floral wire pliers.

  4. 4

    Soak sphagnum peat moss in water until it is saturated.

  5. 5

    Stuff the peat moss through the openings in the chicken wire until the frame is entirely filled with peat moss. Stuff the smallest areas first, and then fill the larger areas.

  6. 6

    Pull topiary plants out of containers and insert the roots through the holes in the chicken wire and into the peat moss. Make sure that the roots are completely covered by the moss. Mist the plants with a misting bottle to keep them moist until the roots become established in the moss.

  7. 7

    Secure trailing ends of topiary stems to the topiary using hair pins. Plants such as ivy or rosemary will take root where you pin them. This process is called layering.

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