Every year about this time, I take all my houseplants outside and give them fresh soil and clean them up a bit. This year I had something fun to do. It has been a project two years in the making. A couple of years ago...at Christmas....I wanted a wreath topiary in the worst way. I tried to make one...but failed. The ivies that I had were just too short. I found that I would have to wait a year or so. The next Christmas, I made one only it was smaller than I wanted, so I unwound the ivy and waited again.
This picture shows my wonderful potting bench. Don't you just love the upside down bucket? A greenhouse would be so nice at times like this :) Oh well, what ever works I always say....
The ivy grew slowly and I kept pinching off pieces to start new ones. Finally the two ivies were touching the floor under my plant stand. I searched for the wire frame that Joe had made for me two years before. It was hanging in an inconspicuous place in the basement. I had the pot all picked out, not clay...but plastic. I've had bad luck with clay pots and ivy. Hmmmmm not enough potting soil. A trip to our hardware store and found some African violet soil. Our hardware store is about to go under, I think. They have such a small inventory and never have anything that you need. When I got home, I mixed the African violet soil with what I had on hand. I first put a coffee filter in the bottom of the pot...then some broken shards of a clay pot, then I stuck in some dowels on either side of the wire form and wired it together for stability. (The wire form had two long pieces of wire....one on each side to stick in the soil.) Then I placed the two ivies....one on each side....keeping the ball of roots with soil attached, so the plant doesn't suffer stress. I filled in with new soil and tamped it down really good. Now, came the fun part.....winding the ivy around the wire. I had some jute just in case the ivy needed tying. It wasn't necessary. The two pots of ivy were just exactly what I needed for this size topiary. It's a little skimpy right now, but it will fill in with new growth before long.
I had a few baby tears growing in my stack n grow this summer, so I thought I would plant a bit at the base of this topiary. Hope it does well in the house.
This was two years in the making. Now, at Christmas, I will have a wreath of ivy to use in my decorating.
This isn't the first one that I have made. I've had a couple others down through the years. I remember one day, going to a friend's for lunch. It was Valentine's Day. I had some ivy and quickly fashioned a wire heart out of a coat hanger and twisted the ivy around and put a red bow on the heart shape. She had that topiary for years. She just kept giving it a "haircut" when it got out of shape. That's what I will do with this one. I do like it to look a little more natural than mine looks now. When the ivy starts to grow, I'll have fun keeping it in shape.
We gardeners are always waiting until next year for one thing or another. We learn patience from our gardens.