Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My first succulent topiary – Part 1: topiary form

I decided to make a succulent topiary so that I can make use of my wall space on the balcony.

First, I will need a topiary from, then the succulent plants to cover the form.

My topiary frame

I made my topiary form using a picture frame and wire netting, then secured sphagnum moss using wire and fishing line. If you are interested in making a topiary, you can buy the form, instead of making one. I made mine because I wanted a red frame on the outside, which will contrast nicely with the green succulent plants.

Tools for topiary form, © Evelyn Howard, 2009Some Equipment to make my topiary form

My tools:

  • Picture frame (I coated the inside with a layer of varnish to “waterproof” it)
  • Wire mesh (I used a galvanised mesh, which is less prone to rusting)
  • Staple gun (used to secure the mesh to the back of the frame)
  • Wire cutter (for cutting the wire mesh)
  • Picture frame hooks (I placed hooks on the top and bottom of the frame, so that I can turn the topiary upside down if necessary when the succulents grow)
  • Wire (for securing sphagnum moss)
  • Fishing line (for securing sphagnum moss)
  • Sphagnum moss (which I purchased from a local garden centre)

The finished frame is shown below.

Topiary form, © Evelyn Howard, 2009My completed topiary form

Succulent plants

Next, I will have to gather the succulent plants that will fill the frame and look for a suitable fertiliser. Normally, succulents planted in soil do not need to be fertilised. However, in my research, I read that because the the moss do not provide the necessary nutrients found in soil, I will have to use a liquid fertiliser (that is further diluted).

I am currently working on this next part of the topiary – more pictures when I finish.

Wish me luck!

Read Part 2: Adding succulent plants

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