to topiary or not to topiary? that is the question!

asturnut(4b- Alaska)November 2, 2001


This is my first time in this particular forum. Thought maybe you folks could help me out or point me in the right direction. GW has so many forums, sometimes it's hard to know where to post your question! (I also posted this ? in the 'garden junk' forum.)

I recently found some old rusty, iron heart-backed ice-cream parlor chairs out on the trash. I thought they would look really fantastic nestled in my garden somewhere, with plants trained to follow the outlines of the heart shapes. Was wondering if anyone could recommend plants that might be suitable for growing on iron in a morning sun/afternoon light-shade situation. I was thinking 'plain old' ivy would do nicely, but I wondered if there were any alternatives, or specific suggetions for a type of ivy for my situation.

I appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!

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I'm sorry I can't recommend an ivy, other than to say that a small-leaved variety would look best. The heart-shaped backs will soon be overgrown, though (since they are not filled in, I am assuming that you want to trace the outline only) and you may find it a terrible amount of work to keep this looking the way you want. Consider a boxwood planted at the back of the seat. Take 2-6 leaders to trace the heart and maybe trim the rest to look like a throw pillow or bolster. You could fill in the entire seat with a moss, chamomile, thyme, or a trailing plant. Sounds like it might be cute.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2001 at 12:12PM
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I am thinking that the dark green leaves, deep pink very fragrant flowers
of Jasminum officinale would be a nice choice when you are out enjoying.
Plus the smell is heavenly.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2001 at 1:24PM
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I was tickled to see your post. I did this with an old ice cream chair a couple of years ago. Removed the seat and used some chicken wire to make a 'bowl' in it's place. Lined the seat with moss, filled with potting mix and planted. I used a small leaf, varietaged ivy and added annuals for instant color. It's nestled under a family heritage maple and looks bright in an otherwise shady spot.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2002 at 11:54PM
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Cytania(UK Midlands)

Here in Europe topiary tables, chairs and patio umbrellas are being comercially produced. The plant of choice seems to be Ligustrum.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2002 at 10:11AM
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Jacque_E_TX(Z 8a N Cent TX)

Light annual vines might give your chair a boost - like Morning Glories? You could train one or two to climb around the wires.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2003 at 10:38PM
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