Topiary as an art form has existed for hundreds of years. Topiary can be as large as a giant hedge maze or as small as a bush in the front yard. Topiary uses evergreen plants, usually with small leaves, to maintain the shape of the horticultural sculpture. Usually, creating a topiary sculpture involves careful planning and pruning over years. When it comes to creating a topiary for home or outdoors, however, using ivy and a topiary form creates a full ivy topiary in a matter of months instead of years.
Creating an ivy topiary requires the same supplies as most garden plants, as well as additional supplies for shaping and maintaining the topiary after the initial planting.
For large topiary pieces, choose a heavy pot that allows plenty of drainage; ivy does not need a lot of water and does not grow well when the soil is full of water. Terracotta and stone pots work well for ivy topiary. For smaller options, such as hanging pieces, focus on pots with good balance and drainage. For planting, get potting soil and a time-release fertiliser. Choose either ivy seeds or ivy that has already grown and transplant it to the new pot. Select a pair of pruning shears for managing the ivy once you plant it.
Ivy refers to about 12 to 15 species of evergreen plant that either climb or creep along the ground. Not all forms of ivy are well suited for a topiary, as topiary usually forms best with small leaves. The English ivy plant, also called Hedera Helix, grows quickly and has the small leaves ideal in creating topiary. Purchase either ivy seeds or an ivy plant long enough to form around the topiary.
Topiary forms come in all shapes and sizes; some create domes and cages, while others provide classic or geometric shapes. Choose coated topiary forms to avoid rust. Topiary forms can also be handmade with materials such as wire coat hangers orcraft wire. Use eitherraffia or twine to secure the ivy to the topiary form. Keep in mind that large topiary forms may require more than one ivy plant.
If growing an ivy plant from the seeds, wait until the ivy plant has sufficient strands to work around the topiary form. If transplanting ivy, move it to a large enough pot for both the roots of the ivy plant and the topiary form. Place some soil in the bottom of the pot with time-release fertiliser, and then centre the roots of the ivy plant in the pot and fill it in with soil. Gently separate the strands of the ivy plant, and place the topiary form in the pot. Next, wind the strands of ivy around the topiary form. Do not pull the ivy stands taut, as this risks snapping or damaging the ivy. Secure the strands to the topiary form with string or raffia. The ivy may not fill out the entire form immediately; remember that it may take several months of growth for the ivy topiary to look complete.
Place the ivy topiary where it can get enough light to grow, but avoid direct sunlight; windows on the north or east side of a building are ideal. As the ivy grows, check the string holding the ivy to the topiary form; if the string cuts into the growing ivy strand, cut it off and replace it. Furthermore, do not water the ivy until the top inch of soil is dry, and use a liquid fertiliser once a month. Prune the ivy regularly to maintain the shape of the topiary form. Remove any dead leaves from the plant and soil to keep the plant healthy and avoid bugs. To keep dust off the topiary, consider setting it under the rain or placing it in the shower under a gentle setting to clean the leaves.
You can purchase many supplies for creating a DIY ivy topiary on eBay. You can findivy seeds, as well as other supplies, such asshears and garden pots. Look for top sellers with a history of high feedback scores for a satisfying buying experience. Ask the seller any questions about a listing, such as the quantity of an item being sold (like seeds or soil), or the condition of an item. Creating your own ivy topiary is a fun and rewarding experience. Finding the supplies you need on eBay makes it convenient and cost effective as well.