After unpackaging the moss, gently pull apart the fibers with your hands, loosening them. This will make applying just the right amount of moss much simpler. You can also use a spray bottle to mist the moss with water. This will soften the fibers of the moss, making them more flexible which will, in turn, make it easier to stuff them into the topiary frames.
Stuff the moss into the frame until the moss becomes firm.
Begin packing the damp moss into the topiary frame. Don’t be afraid to pack the moss in quite firmly. The moss should be dense in the frame. When you press on the moss with your hands, you should not be able to easily insert your finger into the packed moss.
In order to press the moss even more firmly into the topiary art forms, you can use a wooden dowel like the one pictured below. This is also a great tool to use to push the moss snugly into the tighter or smaller spaces of the frame, and it can help you fill in the animal’s details. Continue packing the moss until you can’t see any blank spaces and the fit is tight all around.
Once you are done stuffing, use a scissor to trim around the topiary frame so that the moss does extrude past the frame.
Once you have packed all of the moss into the animal frame topiary, you may notice that the topiary doesn’t look quite as neat as you might have imagined. There will probably be stray pieces of moss sticking out here and there. This can be fixed by trimming away the loose moss pieces with a pair of scissors. Make sure to follow the curves and angles of the topiary frame in order to stay true to the image you’re aiming for. Cut as close as possible, but be careful not to cut into the moss that’s already in the frame.
If you do cut a bit too much, however, it’s nothing to worry about. You can simply add some more moss, using your fingers or the dowel to push the moss in. This is also a good opportunity to look for any gaps in the moss you may have missed when you were first stuffing the topiary.
You may wonder just how much moss you’ll need to completely fill the animal frame. A good way to approximate what you’ll need is to look at the size of the frame. One cubic foot of moss will generally fill eight to 10 mini frames that are less than 10 inches tall. That single cubic foot will also fill three to four small frames that are between 10 and 14 inches. The same cubic foot will fill one medium frame, between 14 and 24 inches, as well. However, large topiary frames, between 24 and 36 inches, will need at least two cubic feet of moss each.
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How-to Instructions for adding ivy or vine foliage to a frame topiary Step by Step Instructions to Establishing Topiary Frames
A) Start with a frame that’s wider at the base than at the top. If you are creating a special shape, make sure to securely stake down the base of the topiary and consider adding stakes to support the top of the frame. Take time to secure the base where it enters the soil and supports the frame at the top by lashing it to a sturdy bamboo stick. Once the plant starts to take over the frame, it may get heavy and be difficult to manage. The initial set-up is critical for a topiary that will survive whatever weather occurs.
B) As the vine grows, work it into the frame regularly. The plant will seek to grow up. If it reaches the top of your topiary frame and escapes too soon in the growing season, the vine will form a tangled mat and may strangle itself. Part of the topiary artform is letting the plant fill the structure over time. If you have a particular shape you need to fill, you may need to plant another vine rootstock to fill the frame. Topiary animals can be challenging to fill successfully if you have a special event early in the summer, so be ready to add more plants as needed.
C) Fasten the vine to the frame at points across the structure with a lightweight, weather-resistant nylon product. The fishing line will work as long as the outer skin of the vine won’t be cut by the line. If the line is particularly sharp or the vine especially tender, consider using a thicker nylon cord to secure the vine for the initial training stage.
D) As the vine grows, monitor it frequently and tuck new growth into the topiary mesh. After a heavy rain, check the stability of the topiary frame and add additional bracing if needed. Consider thinning the fine if the leaf cover is heavy enough to serve as a wind block as this can make your topiary vulnerable to tipping over in a strong breeze.
E) Successful topiary vines will be fast-growing and aggressive. While this may be the best option for the special shape you’re working to build, be aware that these plants can be invasive in the environment. If you’re constructing a topiary feature in a pot, monitor new growth so it doesn’t spread from the pot to the surrounding soil. Depending on where you live, a fast-growing ivy or sweet potato plant can turn from a one-time topiary to a yearly challenge.
What Plants Are Good for Adding Foliage to a Topiary Frame
Below is a list of plants that we recommend to fill your topiary frame. Rosemary is the plant we suggest, we also sell this topiary whole. Please visit your local nursery for their best recommendation depending on your area.
On the level ground they remain creeping, not exceeding 5–20 cm height, but on suitable surfaces for climbing, including trees, natural rock outcrops or man-made structures such as quarry rock faces or built masonry and wooden structures, they can climb to at least 30 m above the ground. Ivies have two leaf types, with palmately lobed juvenile leaves on creeping and climbing stems and unlobed cordate adult leaves on fertile flowering stems exposed to full sun, usually high in the crowns of trees or the tops of rock faces, from 2 m or more above ground.
Jasmines can be either deciduous (leaves falling in autumn) or evergreen (green all year round), and can be erect, spreading, or climbing shrubs and vines. Their leaves are borne opposite or alternate. They can be simple, trifoliate, or pinnate. The flowers are typically around 2.5 cm (0.98 in) in diameter. They are white or yellow in color, although in rare instances they can be slightly reddish.
Smaller frames can be easily assembled just like the larger ones. These frames open for easy assembly around the plant or you can also wrap the vines up and around the frame
They are slow-growing evergreen shrubs and small trees, growing to 2–12 m (rarely 15 m) tall. The leaves are opposite, rounded to lanceolate, and leathery; they are small in most species, typically 1.5–5 cm long and 0.3-2.5 cm broad, but up to 11 cm long and 5 cm broad in B. macrocarpa. The flowers are small and yellow-green, monoecious with both sexes present on a plant. The fruit is a small capsule 0.5-1.5 cm long (to 3 cm in B. macrocarpa), containing several small seeds.
As the common name, “creeping fig” indicates, the plant has a creeping/vining habit and is often used in gardens and landscapes. It is not frost-hardy, and in temperate regions is often seen as a houseplant. It is fast-growing and requires little in the way of care.
The plant is an evergreen shrub or small tree, growing to 5 meters (16 ft) tall. The leaf is entire, 3–5 cm long, with fragrant essential oil. The star-like flower has five petals and sepals, and numerous stamens. Petals usually are white. The flower is pollinated by insects. The fruit is a round berry containing several seeds, most common blue-black in color. A variety of yellow-amber berries is also present. The seeds are dispersed by birds that eat the berries.
Rosemary is an aromatic evergreen shrub that has leaves similar to hemlock needles. The leaves are used as a flavoring in foods such as stuffings and roast lamb, pork, chicken and turkey. It is native to the Mediterranean and Asia but is reasonably hardy in cool climates. It can withstand droughts, surviving a severe lack of water for lengthy periods.
Topiary gardening is for everyone – whether you are a homeowner, live in an apartment, consider yourself an experienced gardener or confess to having a “black thumb”. Whether your home is in Alaska or in tropical Florida, there is a topiary style for you. Topiaries are loved for their beauty and versatility. There is a range of display options for indoor and outdoor topiaries. You even have the choice of using preserved topiaries for your home or office.
Boxwood topiary (most popular) has been the traditional choice for topiary for thousands of years. Its’ dense, evergreen leaves grow opposite in a rounded or slightly elongated shape. Leaf colors can range from blue-green to light green with variegation. Boxwoods grow well in zones 4-9 with partial to full sun. However, leaf bronzing can occur if the plant is exposed to intense summer sun or strong winds. There are varieties which have been bred to tolerate hot, full sun conditions. Boxwoods can grow in most soil types as long as the soil is well-drained.
The optimal varieties for boxwood topiary are small and slow-growing with dense foliage. This means the topiary shape can be maintained with occasional trimming. The boxwood’s natural shape should be considered when selecting varieties for topiary. Dwarf English boxwoods are recommended for round or small topiaries. Cone or spiral topiary styles do best with taller boxwoods. Korean boxwoods are more tolerant of cold weather than English varieties. A reputable garden center or local extension agent can recommend the best varieties for your area.
The classic topiary shapes are cone, square, spiral, globe, and obelisk. More fanciful shapes are created with wire forms. Topiaries in pots can be used as accents for other plantings or as décor for your outdoor spaces. Use large pots with good drainage. Trim growth during the spring or early summer to maintain shape. Small outdoor topiary also can be part of a vertical garden. Protect your topiary during the winter by moving it to a sheltered area such as a patio. Wrapping the topiary loosely with burlap or cardboard will safeguard it from damage.
Indoor topiary provides almost limitless options for display. Indoor topiary can be grouped on a table, placed on a mantle, or mounted on a wall. Ivy is the most common plant used but herbs such as rosemary or lavender also will work. The best location for wall topiary is one which receives sun but does not reach the floor. You can enjoy them on your patio or deck during warm weather.
Preserved boxwood topiary is the perfect choice if you don’t wish to care for live plants or have an area that cannot support a live plant. They look real because they are real! The boxwood has been soaked in dye, treated with a preservative such as glycerin, and then dried. The glossy color and natural leaf texture are retained. All you need to do is give the preserved boxwood an occasional misting.
Versatile, beautiful, and foolproof – everyone should consider topiary gardening. TOPIARYTREE.NET
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Determining the wire gauge for your topiary is important. It serves the purpose answers the question, can my topiary hold plants on it or can the topiary sustain strong wind forces, etc.
The smaller topiary frames use a smaller gauge wire rod (1/8″ or less) as they do not need much support for the structural weight. The larger-scaled topiary frames, such as a horse, require a larger gauge wire rod (1/4″ or larger) as they are heavier and need more structural support for weight and stability. Picture of smaller topiary using 1/8 inch gauge wire.
In addition, if the topiary is to live outside, we suggest to galvanized the topiary metal so it will not rust. Learn more here.
The smaller topiary frames use a smaller gauge wire rod (1/8″ or less) as they do not need much support for the structural weight. The larger-scaled topiary frames, such as a horse, require a larger gauge wire rod (1/4″ or larger) as they are heavier and need more structural support for weight and stability.
Picture of smaller topiary using 1/8 inch gauge wire.
Any open-wire topiary frame that does not have a covering (foliage) should withstand normal wind conditions. Large-scaled topiary frames that are covered or will be in high wind environments would need additional internal supports that connect to its base. This is typically done with a larger rod. In this specific case of a horse in 70mph winds, the 1/4″ wire rod with one or two 3/8″ rods for internal structural support would work just fine. The base could be bolted down to a concrete pad/footing. If the horse will be covered, then it may need a few more 3/8″ rods for additional support/stability. Here is a picture of a topiary using a 3/8 inch gauge wire.
Our is my recommendation for longterm outdoor use with the worst possible wind conditions. Anything smaller than the 1/4″ wire rod and no internal support runs the risk of being damaged.
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When we ship custom large topiaries or live trees, we must put them on a pallet or crate them. We typically do not know the details of shipping your order until it is built. We can provide an estimated quote for pallet, making a crate and shipping costs, but the real cost of shipping is known when we are ready to ship. Thus, shipping is just a quote on the shopping cart.
Also, if you need to use a tail gate lift to unload the crate or pallet at the destination, this is an additional charge we are imposed by the shippers.
We have found shipping to be cheaper if we make the topiary in smaller pieces and you would need to assemble the topiary upon arrival and typically do not need an automated tail gate lift to unload the pallet or crate as the topiary would ship in standard shipping boxes to the destination.
Applicable fees for shipping a large over sized custom topiary is the cost to make the crate or slate to fit on a pallet or fee to take an existing pallet to hold the trees upright for shipping, plus the shipping cost and optional tail gate lift.
Below is an example of a crated horse topiary to ship as a whole piece.
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When you’re looking for an attractive, long-lasting style for your home, business, or garden area, consider the beauty of topiary plants. These bring an immediate sense of timeless style and relaxing beauty to any area you’d like to place them. You don’t need to worry about the care of topiaries, because we can provide the tools and advice you need to get started. It won’t be as hard as you think to maintain your new topiaries and enjoy them for a long time to come. Some of the styles that we have available include:
Cone topiaries: the classic look of the carefully manicured topiary that is recognized throughout the world
Boxwood cone topiaries: this tree is a particularly useful kind for topiary styles
A ball topiary: with flowers or without, they come in a variety of sizes, styles, and designs
Artificial topiary trees: easily cared for, easily enjoyed
Topiary in a potted form: a topiary in a pot can be moved to other locations for added variety in decor, whether used inside or out
Advantages of Topiaries Advantages of topiaries vary from owner to owner. For some, the classical beauty of these plants is calming and provides a balanced and peaceful decor for their property. For others, trimming and shaping the topiaries provides an interesting hobby that encourages patience and attention to detail. Some prefer artificial topiaries that require very little care.
Indoor Uses – Highly Recommend Preserved Topiary Indoor topiaries can provide the beauty of nature where the color and shape of the plant adds a special addition to the decor of a room. Using live plants adds the health benefits of living vegetation to the indoors. Using artificial ones provides easy-care beauty.
Outdoor Topiary Using a variety of outdoor topiaries is an excellent way to develop a balanced and striking visual approach to any building entrance. They frame gardens, provide privacy, and add detail to bare walls or walkways. Any kind of topiary will serve outdoors.
Live Topiaries Live topiaries stand at attention anywhere they are needed. They provide the calming sense of a well-controlled environment. They can be shaped and reshaped according to tastes. Their natural beauty helps filter the air while adding emphasis on the views around a property.
Artificial Topiaries The true advantage of an artificial topiary is that it takes little care. Whether used indoors or outside, they provide long-lasting, dependable style. Artificial topiaries are as beautiful as the natural varieties. They maintain their carefully constructed shapes so that you can enjoy them without worry.
Visit Us Today! Visit us today online or in person to see what we have to offer in topiaries. We will happily discuss your needs and show you the variety of live and artificial plants that we maintain. Our selection is extensive, and we’ll help you find the right choices for your needs.