How do I make A Perfect Circle?

soundgarden(z8/ New Orleans, La)October 14, 2003

Actually, I'm asking for a friend, and I'm not sure what kind of bush she's wanting to work with.

Is there a trick to shaping a circle? I've heard stories about using string.... Are there certain tools that are needed?

Any suggestions would be great, Thanks

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Well-ll , it depends on the size of the circle ya' want. I've wrapped wire around a five gallon bucket when I need a circle that size. Any round container could be used. Then use the wire as a guide to shape the plant.

When doing topiary shrubs : A book from the library would be especially helpful.

I would probably just use my imagination . Picture what you want the results to look like, then start large and shape it to suit the eye. Maybe not on your favorite shrub at first . Practice makes perfect, or at least exceptable in some cases.

If it's a wire frame for a potted topiary you need , leave wire length on both ends of a 3/4 circle to be bent at an angle to stick in the soil on both sides of the pot for support . Like an rounded horseshoe, only crimped sharper; (or a circle with legs, spread out to fit the pot. If the wire is strong and stiff, I've had to use two pliers to get the curve or angle I needed.. (AND be carefull that the wire doesn't flip out and hit you .)... ((OR just give in and order some frames like I eventually did.)) Some aren't real expensive, (but quantity helps )

A huge one like a hoop or arch with ivy or other vining plant trained on it is great . Honey suckle is espec. nice for it's fragrance and mine bloomed 3 or 4 times outside during the summer and once in the greenhouse,, late winter.. ( I bring it in before a freeze because it's in a large pot.) I fertillized it often and tip pinched it or cut it back some ocassionally.

If you want to consider a source for frames, ask here or search the web.

Hope this helps & good luck.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2003 at 3:09PM
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No special tools, just regular cutting shears and a lot of your imagination. Actually, this may help out although it's only 1 dimensional. Take a large thick cardboard and cut it out in a round shape. I'd simply take the template and put it against the plant - removing leaves that fall outside the circle. Then take that template to the sides of the plant and trim once more. You'd get a somewhat round shape. Then with your eyes only start shaping the plant further until you are satisfied with the shape. Do this all around the plant until you can be reasonably assured that what you've achieved it as close to round as you can make it. It's a tricky technique but it helps by traning the eye. Myself, I prefer to wing it. Sometimes what I come up with looks more spherical than a perfect round but I like it anyway. Remember, don't cut too much especially if you are not certain.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2003 at 11:07PM
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zionadams(SW Utah)

I'm new here...but how about molding 1" chicken wire around an inflatable beach ball, then deflating it? It's a cheap investment and will hold up to the pressure of you pushing and pressing the wire into place. Also, it would be reusable.

Thanks for asking this question. I've been wanting to do this too...and now I know how I'll do it! LOL

    Bookmark   June 4, 2004 at 10:52AM
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Actually, that might be a bit more troublesome if you intend to apply it on mature bushes as this person had intended to so. The chicken wire frame can be used to form another type of topiary like ones out of ivy or some small ground covering plants like sedums or creeping jenny.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2004 at 9:43AM
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I have recently purchased a trimming frame. It comes in two halfs and clips together around the plant. You simply clip in on, trim the plant against the guides and then remove it when you are finished.

I used the guide to trim my 450 mm diameter topiary plants in about 5 minutes. The result is a perfect sphere. The best thing is that since you take the guide off when finished people think that you have done it by hand!

I purchased my guide for $30, which was a bargin as you can use the guide again and again on different plants. The guides come in 3 different diameters.

Send me an email and I will give you the link to where you can purchase them from

    Bookmark   December 6, 2004 at 9:44PM
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I just wanted to say that I think that your frame is great. I was given my topiary a few months ago and didn't know how to trim so that it would look like the "ball" I needed it to look like, but your frame made it look GREAT and made trimmng it so quick and kinda " professional looking".
Thanks for the tip


    Bookmark   January 27, 2005 at 3:26AM
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