Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tutorial--Topiary for people who don't have a green thumb--

My grandfather, who I was very close to growing up, was a gifted licensed gardener. His backyard was a beautiful Japanese style garden. He was very knowledgable about agriculture. He grew all sorts of vegetables and flowers. He made it look easy. Unfortunately I did not inherit his talent. I would love to be like him and have attempted many times. It so far has not worked! I still love to have green in my house, so I decided to make a topiary out of fake greenery stems a few years ago. I've made several since then, today I picked out greenery stems with tiny white flowers and decided to make a tutorial for anyone like me who doesn't have a green thumb.

First you will need a container, foam, artificial plants (two stems), glue gun, wire cutters, a knife to cut the foam, and fake soil. If you can't find fake soil, you can always use dry moss.

Cut the foam to fit the container. You want to be careful, if it is too loose it will fall out eaily and make a mess.

Cut it so that you have to push the foam a bit to get it all in. I've been told to glue the foam to the container, but my method allows me to change the topiary easily.

The stems I bought were too long for this project so I cut them off. When you cut the stems keep in mind you need to keep enough of the stem to insert into the foam until it reaches the bottom. Use the glue gun to secure the stems. Wait until it drys before continuing on.

Here is what mine looks like before I bent the stems down.

To secure the stems together I took branches from each stem and intertwined them around the base stems.

Take the ends of both plants and intertwine them together to form a circle. Then I braided the other branches around the main stems.

Here I was working on some loose ends. Trying to get it to look just right.

I used this fake soil to cover up the foam. I bought this a long time ago, so I don't know if stores carry this one anymore, but you could always use dried moss. You can find dried moss at craft stores.

Place the fake dirt on the foam and gently press in. If you are using dried moss, take a little at a time and use the glue gun to secure them to the foam.

There, you now have a pretty topiary that you don't need to worry about, it will never die!


  1. Thanks for the great idea! I think I will come up with something like that for my mom as a Mother's Day gift. My mom has a green thumb for her vegetable garden. Anything as a house plant usually just wilts and dies within a short period of time.

  2. I love this. Not for a lack of a green thumb but for the pure lack of time to use my green thumb!


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  3. sachiko,
    i've never heard of this "looks like soil" stuff! WONDERFUL! i'm making some right now and was wondering what i was going to do for the "soil" part...i don't care for the mossy stuff so now i KNOW WHAT I'M GOING TO USE! THANK YOU!!!

  4. Let's be honest, you saw my sewing capabilities and so I'm sure you already know I would somehow ruin this as well. How is it that you are so talented? It looks adorable, but really, would I expect anything less from you? Super cute!!

  5. ikea for the hangers...where did you get that fake soil?i can't find it. but then again i don't have any real craft stores around here.

  6. I bought the fake soil at Robert's, but it was long time ago. I don't know if they carry it still. The manifactures name, address and phone number is on the box, so I googled it to see if I can find out more about them. It only showed the buisiness directory. I am going to call them today (I hope they are still in bussiness!). I will let you know what I find out.


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