Finished ivy topiaries
Cottage Living, Tom McWilliam

Topiary Tips

•The prettiest topiary is one where the size of the plant's leaf is in scale with your wire form. A large-leafed ivy will fill in a delicate form quickly, but will also mask the shape of the form. Whereas, a small-leafed miniature ivy looks dense and full until you begin winding it onto a large obelisk form.

•Invest in a coated or painted wire form, they don't rust and can last for years.

•Stick with classic forms.

•Snip leaves as necessary to keep the topiary tight and compact.

•Select a weighty container. Stone or terra-cotta work best, but you can also add stones to the bottoms of other pots.

•Keep things in scale when choosing a pot, the inserted frame should be about twice the height of the container.

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