Friday, November 6, 2015

DIY Gardening: Christmas Tree shaped Topiary

Making Your Own Topiary Frame:

Tools and supplies needed for this project:
Wire Tomato cage,
Wire clippers and/or Bolt-cutter,
Small shovel,
Large flower pot
Dirt
Green electrical wire
Ivy plants

With the gorgeous weather we had in Chicagoland this week, much of our time was spent out in the yard, and not so much blogging this week.  But seeing all the Christmas posts inspired me to plant all my ivy in one pot (I use ivy in almost all my outdoor planters) and try and make a Christmas tree topiary from scratch. Topiary frames are hideously expensive, so I had to make it from scratch.

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First thing, I planted all my ivy (7) in one large pot...and made sure the plants were around the edge. I already had treated my plants with an organic fungus/pesticide ecologically safe for pets/children when we had the frost. I bagged all my plants after heavy spraying and then tightened the bags around them for three days. In the two weeks since I have only seen one tiny spider. So this really works well. I did this for every plant I brought into the house.

Since I wanted a Christmas tree shape, I began with a large green tomato cage, and clipped the bottom rings off. This left me with a 24" tall frame on the left. I used green plastic covered electrical wire and closed the top three wires first. TIP: use the heaviest clippers or bolt cutters you have to cut the cage.

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Here is the dissected Tomato cage...I used the part on the left, really one ring with legs and the long original legs used as the top.

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I set the frame into the pot to see if the proportions were right. The bottom legs were a bit larger than my pot, so I had to secure them inward. Removing the frame from the pot I worked on tightening IN the bottom legs, first.

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Here I am just deciding where I may want my extra wires. The greens of the wire are different but when they are covered with ivy it will not matter. You could spray everything with spray paint to match if you wanted.

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I added an inner ring on the bottom to bring the bottom ends in to fit the pot. Then I added an additional bottom outer ring securing at each of the frames legs by wrapping around twice. From the outside bottom ring, I added three more vertical sides up to give the outline of the tree, these were attached at the top and to the originally frame by double wrapping.

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Next, I took two long pieces and wound them from top to bottom loosely to give the horizontal wires. In the shadow above you can see my rings mimicing the original ring...the shadow looks great.





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Pushing the legs deep into the pot, I began untangling and spreading out my ivy vines. This took some patience. Working some on the lower rings and the longest on vertical wires, it actually started to look great.

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 The bottom will be completely covered because of all the short vines. Using the longest to wind up all the wires on the frame will fill it up.

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It is sparse for now, but I have done simple circle frames before and know the ivy thrives with light, daily sprays of water and plenty of plant food. So hopefully in a month or two this frame will be totally full and will be ready for bitty lights.

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 I have it in the front window right now, as it receives lots of indirect sunlight as we have a large overhang here.

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 If I get desperate, I can always add another ivy or two.

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But it so thick on the bottom with short vines, I'm sure they will go nuts now. I will wait a week and let the plants acclimate to their new surroundings before fertilizing.

TIP: Turn your pot everyday or two...as the ivy will go toward the light source and you want it to grow toward the outside.

This project cost nothing, as we had all the materials on hand. Ivys were originally purchased in garden centers in spring for 1.99 or less. Tomatoe cage was used, originally 4-5$ because plastic covered.

Time: 1-1/2 hour at most.

Thanks for stopping by, commenting or questions always welcomed.

 All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own or I am in possesion of the originals, 
I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or products used. 
Please do not use my photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. 
Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle

Sharing at these fine parties: 



Sandi





9 comments:

  1. Great idea Sandi! Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend. Lynn

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    1. Just wanted to do something inexpensive with what I had, Thanks Lynn for stopping and have a great weekend. Sandi

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  2. Hi Sandi this is a great project. You are so creative and thank you for sharing this. I'd like to try it. Ivy does really well here. Have a nice weekend.xo

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  3. I love ivy and I love Christmas trees so this is a perfect project! I can visualize it already, lush with vines all the way up. It will be lovely! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day.

    Autumn blessings,
    Sandi

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    1. Thanks Sandi, I have already perched a couple of owls in the holes...I'm sure it will be fine and lights cover a multitude of sins, thanks for stopping by, Sandi

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  4. What a fun project Sandi! Love ivy and it will be full in no time! Thank you for sharing @Vintage Charm!

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    1. Hope so, owls have perched in the holes for now, thanks for stopping by, Sandi

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  5. Cute idea Sandi! It will be fabulous when it all fills in. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. thanks, Jann for stopping by, and my pleasure to share, Sandi

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Thank you for any and all comments. I will reply to any questions!
And great to meet you, Sandi