Friday, June 27, 2008

Rosemary Topiary

Recently one of our classes at The Rosemary House was to create a charming heart shaped topiary. Topiary is the art of shaping plants to create living sculpture (think Edward Scissorhands). It is actually one of the oldest means of creating decorative forms for our home or garden.
Since ancient times trees and vines have been trained for useful purposes, raising crops off the ground, increasing the yield of the fruit and furnishing shade. The Romans were the first to develop these skills into topiary. Now generations of gardeners have used it as a softer alternative to marble statuary. As do many things, topiary went in and out of fashion with the Victorians reviving the fashion and adding ornate details.

Topiary is a fun topic to explore and many herbs lend themselves to it. Bay trees do very well as a "standard topiary" (think of a lollipop look), as do lavender and rosemary. Vining plants like English Ivy work nicely as a topiary shape but since we are The Rosemary House, we used creeping Rosemary.

First we shaped a 56 inch piece of 16 gauge galvanized wire into a heart shape. The Heart shape was approximately 32 inches leaving about a 5 inch stem on the heart and a small 3 inch circle on the bottom. We then hot glued the circle on the bottom of the heart to the bottom of the clay pot. Filled the pot with soil and planted two creeping Rosemary plants. With green twist ties we attached the Rosemary Plants to the wire and will continue to adjust the twist ties as the plant grows and begins to fill out our lovely heart shape plant.

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