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February 24, 2016
Today I’m sharing an idea I show as a featured ‘project’ on this website called ‘landscape design and installation by Carol’. You will notice on the deck (by the fence) is an ivy topiary (established) in a rust colored square planter, click here.
This was the first ivy topiary that I ever did back in 1999/2000. It’s super simple and can be used year round if you plant evergreen ivy such as Boston Ivy (which is what I have) or English Ivy.
Quick tip: I got my ivy from a friend’s yard so was able to transplant, into my pot, pieces that were already mature in growth. If you’re lucky enough to have a friend with evergreen ivy be sure and dig up more than you actually need – then plant it all. Odds are good that you will lose some in the transplanting. So cover your bases!
Whether you buy ivy from a greenhouse or dig it up yourself be sure to let it establish itself BEFORE you begin this project. Plant it then let it acclimate to your pot for a couple of weeks.
You'll need – pot, wire tomato cage, wire coat hangers, wire cutters, pliers, zip ties. Picture 1
First Step: Plant your ivy in container pot. Wait a couple of weeks.
Second Step: Take your tomato cage (see picture 1), turn it upside down so the wide top is on bottom, then with your pliers bend each of the three prongs (see picture 2). I bend them inward, towards each other. I loop them together and secure with a zip tie or two. See picture 3.
Third Step: Cut (with your wire cutters) 6 to 10” lengths of the coat hanger then bend over in half (see picture 4).
Fourth Step: Place the wide part of your tomato cage down into your pot (see picture 5) and around the outside of the plants then secure the cage into the dirt with your pre-made wire prongs. This will help keep the tomato cage upright and straight until your topiary is established.
Fifth Step: Now comes the fun part (if you have long pieces of ivy to work with already) start pulling the pieces upwards attaching with your zip ties when needed. I take mine all the way up to the top and secure. As the ivy starts to grow you should pull, attach and arrange every few days until you have the coverage and shape you want. If you don’t have any length on your plants yet don’t fret! Ivy grows at a fast clip so it won’t be long before you can start pulling, attaching and arranging.
This process should be used (pulling, attaching, arranging) with any vine that you use on a freestanding trellis/arbor. Using vines in landscaping, especially evergreen vines, provides your yard with year round interest.
Just remember, they look best when you control their path of growth and their thickness. I used my hedge clippers to shape an established jasmine vine on an arbor.
Good luck and please let me know how it works out! Carol
Here is a picture from Stacey, who responded with her version of the topiary idea !