The process takes a few years, but you’ll have all the satisfaction of seeing your creation take shape, at a fraction of the price of buying one ready made.
For quick results, train a climber such as English ivy around a topiary frame. You could even make your own frame from wire netting.
Here’s how to make a topiary chicken using ivy.
You Will Need
- Large ivy plants (four or five)
- Large ornamental pot
- Wire topiary frame
- Loam-based compost, such as John Innes No.3
Make sure each ivy plant has plenty of long and leafy trailing stems, with no bald patches or brown leaves. Add some loam-based compost to a large, ornamental pot. Then position the plants evenly round the edges.
Sit your topiary frame over the top of the ivy plants. if it’s a standing bird or animal shape, try to create just one ‘leg’ at the base. Spread out the long trailing stems through the centre of the frame so they grow to fill out the shape.
Weave the ivy through and over the wire netting to cover it evenly with foliage. Clip back any sideshoots and over-long stems to encourage the plants to branch out and thicken up.
Place your topiary sculpture in a prime site where you can admire your handiwork. Water well and regularly trim and tie in shoots. Trim regularly to keep it in shape.