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How to make topiary frames?

Posted by Twinkle 7 GA (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 4, 04 at 11:14

My local garden center wants $50 bucks for a small frame with a single ball. Ouch!

I would like to make topiary frames with two balls. How do you do it? And how do you attach the balls to the sticks?

Thank you!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to make topiary frames?

Have you checked out that frame carefully to see how it was done? The most I've seen have been welded and you are correct in that these are expensive. You could probably use wire hangers to shape it around a large ball and you'd need to find a way to attached it to the stand.

RE: How to make topiary frames?

  • Posted by julieNY Long I sland,NY (My Page) on
    Thu, Mar 11, 04 at 17:23

I've made many topiary frames for very little money and they have lasted for years. I used wire I got for free from a timber yard, lighter-gauge wire (not expensive) and heaps of heavy-duty hot-melt glue (the kind you use with a heated 'gun' - they are cheap at craft or hardware stores and well worth buying -get plenty of the glue sticks). To form round balls I used old wires from lampshade frames - you can buy these new in craft shops if necessary - and cobbled them together with wire twist ties to get the shape roughly right, then smothered the joins with hot-melt glue. Then I wound lighter wire around the frames to establish a framework for the ivy stems to be tied to and to keep the shapes nice and rounded, touching the joining places with a good dob of glue to keep it in place (hold it still afterwards to allow the glue to set before you go on to the next step and be careful not to burn your fingers - those guns are HOT and the glue can give you a nasty burn. Keep the kids away while you are doing this bit - you need to concentrate!). If I was making a standard I fitted a stake or bamboo up through the middle. Simple. To make tall cones I used a graduated selection of circles - again old lampshade wire circles - and hot-glued them to straight, heavier wires (or bamboo stakes) in a tripod shape. Make generous u-shaped bended wire pieces to anchor the bottom ring into the potting mix. As sculptures they would never have won any prizes for looks but they did the job and cost very little except effort and ingenuity (and one purchase of a cheap glue gun)' Keep your eyes peeled for flea market hanging baskets - for my daughter's wedding I created a series of hanging 'balls' made of two wire baskets (cheapest I could find) wired together to make a (sort of ) ball shape each of which I then planted up with dangly things like lobelia, ivy geranium, pansies, etc etc but which could equally well be planted with just ivy. If you=re lucky and the original chains are still intact you don't even have to make a hanger! The important thing is - plenty of nourishment (I always mix water-retaining crystals and fertiliser granules in with the potting mix) and daily waterin hot drying weather. Trim the ivy regularly too and it will bush up quickly. Some people say the ivy gets woody and needs to be disarded - I found over 15 years that regular care kept mine going fine. And it's very therapeutic! Also - I'm a worm-farm fanatic and the 'worm tea' is the best thing ever for fertilising container plants, and after the expense of setting it up you just recycle your food and organic scraps and the dear little worms do the rest...forever. Enjoy!!!!

RE: How to make topiary frames?

Your post is 2004. Are you still making topiary forms and planting them? I am having trouble anchoring the forms to the pot. If I use heavy soil I can do it but that isn't what I want to use. I am mostly working on frames now as our weather is cold and snowy. Please reply if possible. Thanks!

RE: How to make topiary frames?

Yikes! First posted in 2004, and your question is a couple of months old now, but I've been learning how to do it too, although I haven't yet tried my hand on it. (Found directions somewhere online, a while ago.) I learned to do it using chicken coup wire, but filling the form with spignum (sp?!) peat moss. It's lightweight, but gives the plants something to cling onto.

As far as attaching to the basket, not so sure that requires anything heavy-duty, since, once the plants have taken over the form, it won't be blowing away. Why not just stick a stick/bamboo pole/dowel right through the whole thing, on into the soil below? (Also, read that in the directions, although these directions were for a shape other then a ball.)

If you need to attach the stick to the frame, wouldn't good old fashioned wire ties that are used for twisting trash bags shut, do the trick? I'm thinking that blob of hot wax on top of that would help to avoid getting stabbed while caring for your plants, once they've taken shape. Or maybe, even a pipe cleaner, instead.

Also, in the future, sometimes, if you click onto the different links from authors of previous post, you might find a link, so you can contact the original poster, giving you a better chance at getting quicker answers. (I'm guessing you tried that, and it didn't help, but thought I'd add this, in case, you didn't think of it, and it would work. I'd try it with you now, but I'm having trouble sleeping, and this was a side venture, while working on something else, so I'm too tired and lazy to follow my own directions. Sorry. LOL)


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