Make a Topiary Frame

As temperatures warm, the garden is blooming and perennials are making their expected return, yet you crave a new design element in the garden. Consider vining or climbing plants. When paired with an attractive structure to climb, they add not only height to your garden but also incredible displays of color.

Make a Topiary

Select your climbing plants and determine how much area they will need to grow and be beautifully displayed. Plants such as ivy, nasturtiums, morning glories, and passion flower are easily accommodated by a flower pot with a topiary form. Plant in a sturdy pot large enough to accommodate the plants and the form.

2 tomato cages (diameter of second largest ring should just fit inside flower pot)
  pliers(for cutting and shaping wire)
14-gauge wire
2 feet of wire similar to tomato cage wire OR purchased drapery finial

1. Remove largest ring from each tomato cage with pliars, cutting connecting spokes about 3 inches below next ring.

2. Invert cages and put one cage inside the other. Turn one cage 90 degrees so that the spokes don't overlap.

3. Use 3-inch lengths of 14-gauge wire to connect cages, wrapping at spoke/ring intersection.

4. At the top of the cone, trim spokes to even lengths. Turn down the top inch of each spoke to create hooks.

5. Cut larger wire (2 feet) into 3 or 4 even lengths for a decorative finial. Shape each into a curl.

6. Insert finial wires (or purchased finial) into the center of the hooked spokes and wrap well with 14-gauge wire.

7. Use pliers to slightly bend bottom spokes towards the center of the cage.

8. Place topiary form on flower pot, inserting bottom spokes into soil next to the rim.

This topiary looks great on a porch, lining a walkway, or even in a flower bed. Make two to flank your front door. Be careful not to place in a location that encounters strong winds. As your climbing plants grow, guide them (if needed) to the topiary form. When the topiary fills in, trim sides to maintain the cone shape.

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