An All-Idyll Project - Join In!!

ctlavluvrJuly 5, 2008

Here's something we all can do no matter what zone, budget, time allowance, light, space or motivation.

My thought is, as many of us that want to grow these on for the next six months, and create an All-Idyll Topiary Winter Solstice card for ourselves.

Maybe it's a stretch, but I think it'd be fun to do and can just imagine 20 or so of these in a morphed photo (Deanne, do you volunteer?????) all lit up :-)

EASY AS TOPIARY GETS:

Join in if you'd like!! All materials can be found in a place as easy as the supermarket and shouldn't cost more than a grand total of $10. Mine will be about 2' tall.

If you've never done this before, a great hint is to get a plant with one really long tendril for the vertical base, and a bunch of new growth at the bottom to end up with a cone-shaped plant in six months.

Heck, you all can figure it out :-)

Martie

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chelone

GULP.

My already challenged fingernails are suffering, Martie. ;) I'll "take it under advisement". Too soon to commit, though.

But what a great idea, right now it seems as though winter is a long way away, but the truth is, it really isn't. The days are already getting shorter, mes amis.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 11:41AM
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ctlavluvr

Aw, com'n, Chelone!!!???!!! Can't you just see this with teeny white lights sitting in your window?? With a windowbox underneath basking in the glow??

Get a 6" pot and a 4" of whatever Hedera strikes your fancy (see link below). Two handfuls of potting soil, pop the plant in, set the support, water when it's dry, give it some leftover vegetable water a few times a month for fertilizer, and you're golden!!

Marian -- Help me out, here :-)

Martie

Here is a link that might be useful: Ivy Science

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 12:19PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

LOL...Martie, Martie...I was gulping right along with Chelone...but you certainly have a persuasive way about you. [g] I'm game! Always happy to try simple things when someone can walk me through it. Not sure when I can get out and get supplies...Wait...does it count if you use something that is not an ivy? I just started a Begonia standard, does that count? :-)

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 12:31PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

At last, something that doesn't feel overwhelming to me.
Count me in! :)

Jerri

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 1:36PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Everything sounds overwhelming today...but I'm game to try. It might be ready, if alive, in 2020.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 1:52PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

If it dies just call it a Raffia Topiary and carry on.
;)

Jerri

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 2:34PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

If I'm alive Jerri!!! LOL

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 2:36PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I wonder if it would work with the neighbour's ivy that keeps coming through the fence?! Maybe I'll pot some up and see what happens....

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 2:44PM
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cynthia_gw

Or you could submit photo of fence Woodie. I'm selecting a tree to submit. The ones at the neighbor's may not be up at Christmas though, as with so much ivy on them they'll come down on my house in the next hurricane.

I think it's lovely idea Marty, and am considering this. But my topiary would not be ivy or wisteria or any of the things I fight back daily.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 3:13PM
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ctlavluvr

Topiaries of any type is a great idea!!!!

PM, persuasive is how I make my living, LOL. But honestly and with high standards (no pun intended) of excellence. Thus, I wouldn't even begin to say "EASY" unless I meant it.

Also will be starting Rosemary, Lav (probably 'Provence'), Rugosa and Helianthus as soon as container sales start.

It really is easy once things are rooted! No problem there for some of you with invasive ivy :-)

Martie

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 6:16PM
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saucydog(z5MA)

YES! I think topiaries of any type will make it more do-able for me....I can just see a mosaic of different topiary ideas....is that the idea Martie?

I'm thinking I will try a succulent topiary, since that seems to be what I'm stuck on lately....

Saucy

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 7:13PM
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dodgerdudette

I'm in...maybe Ficus repens for me. I'll ponder...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 7:42PM
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lmcilhargie

I'm in Martie. I have a lantana topiary I started recently and I'd like to start a couple of coleus ones too. Ivy is not my friend though. I've killed a few ivy topiaries in my time. Great idea! Sounds like fun!

Eden

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 8:47PM
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lesliedon(8)

That sounds like a lot of fun, I'm always thinking about Christmas! I've already got the ivy, and I think I have a form I can use. Count me in!

Leslie

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 9:25PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'm thinking about it...

V.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 10:07PM
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ctlavluvr

Yes, Saucy, that's the idea. We could do the morph either by all of us sending a pic to a photographically enabled Idyll to put together into one pic, or just start a thread with all of the topiaries. Either way, I think it would be a very cool way to start a Gardener's New Year.

My female high school neighbor is in, too!! The boys are in V's corner at this point. LOL

Martie

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 8:12AM
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denisez10(SoCal)

Okay. I'm in. Solanum jasminoides. Guess I'll have to go plant shopping, sigh...

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 9:19AM
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michelle_zone4

Since I've recently started a rosemary and a couple of coleus, I'll try, but there's no guarantee that they will be still alive by that time.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 10:27PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'm having too much fun with the boys in corner. (blush)

OK, maybe the real reason I'm on the fence is that I've had terrible luck keeping ivy alive in the house.

V.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 10:28AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I did myrtle once, then killed it.
Maybe rosemary is a good idea, but it gets bugs for me indoors in the winter.
I'm thinking still.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 3:48PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I've got an ivy topiary now, altho it's not very healthy looking; yep, I can't keep rosemary inside in the winter either; im considering other options....

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 8:55AM
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michelle_zone4

Does it count if our topiary looks pretty good by the end of the summer and we take our picture then? LOL Otherwise, I may not have a picture worth posting!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 9:43AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK, I'm being ever so brave:

First photo of $2.99 variegated ficus from store:

Second shot is of pruned ficus.

Third shot is an attempt at making plants out of the pruned branches.

This may be a death watch...

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 8:57PM
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saucydog(z5MA)

Martie, I saw this little topiary on our last garden tour on the last day of IU5....I immediately thought of you.

I wonder if I could've squeezed it in my luggage ;)

Get well soon!

Bug...that's a great start! So far I only have the pieces....I need to begin assembly!

Saucy

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 9:47PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK, I'm being ever so brave:

First photo of $2.99 variegated ficus from store:

Second shot is of pruned ficus.

Third shot is an attempt at making plants out of the pruned branches.

This may be a death watch...

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 10:50PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The above 2nd posting is just plain strange! I was on my way to bed at the time of posting...The computers were off because of thunderstorms.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 7:33AM
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ctlavluvr

That's the spirit, 'bug!! For $5 or so you have entertainment for the next six months :-)

Saucy - I love that kind of thing and would've found a way.... LOL

Anyone else have baby topiary attempts to post, yet? This is going to be fun. My pics will be forthcoming.

Martie

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 8:40AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Nice idea with the variegated fig, Gardenbug. I am going with my Angel Wing Begonia that I had already started, but it only has two leaves on the top of it at the moment..lol. Photo whenever it has a few more. :-) Good luck with your cuttings, Gardenbug.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 9:35AM
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dodgerdudette

I've assembled all my items this week but have not taken pics yet. Got a ficus repens and a frame and will use one of my many existing pots. Photo of the elements this weekend !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 1:08AM
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michelle_zone4

Here's the rosemary so far. I potted up the trimmings as well.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 12:28PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Cute little rosemary Michelle! I also have a cutting off the begonia. Well, I have two possibles. One that I just put together just before this thread started from a Angel Wing Begonia and a volunteer off of our Blue Holly. The Begonia I can bring in for the winter, but the Holly would have to go in the ground in the fall. So, are either if these good candidates? The Holly is a little curved if I look at it from one side.

The pot to the right of the topiary is my next project, a fall/winter arrangement.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 1:27PM
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ctlavluvr

How cool is this????? Love the beginnings of everyone's topes. Here's a progress shot of the ivy:

It's almost to the point of pinching side shoots and will be tipped really soon, too.

Martie

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 3:22PM
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dodgerdudette

Heres my entry.Got the frame cheap cuz it's bent on top, already had the pot and will tease apart the ficus repens... Notice that Ted wanted to perform a bathing ritual for the camera..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 8:28PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Hi Ted!

I better get to the nursery and get my vine! Wonder what else I'll find? ;)

Jerri

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 9:32PM
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cynthia_gw

I'm in. I'll have to curl the tail, fix the ears, part the mouth in a smile. It'll work.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 11:41AM
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ctlavluvr

Cynthia -- That's amazing! Where on earth did you find it?

Martie

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 12:17PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

DITTO!!!

Bug, now searching for Bouvier form....

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 1:38PM
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dodgerdudette

Wow Cynthia! very nice !

Here is the assembled entry from me. Points off since I killed Ficus pumila #1 and had to replace it.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 10:16PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Cynthia...I can hardly believe you found that form!! What a big project, what are you going to train on it? Stuffing it with moss? It is gorgeous!

Pretty color pot Kathy and I enjoy that kind of form too.

My Begonia standard now has three leaves and sign of more to come and another cluster of blossoms. I'm glad you had this idea Martie! :-)

pm2

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 4:29PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

I thought it would be good to bump this up. How about updated photos of eveyrone's topiaries?

Here's my coleus topiary prior to it being cut back to bring in the house for winter.

Deanne

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 9:37AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK, so today I got the rosemary out of the veg garden and potted it up. (Actually only a part of it as it had become too huge.) Tonight it is expected to be around minus 2C (28F), an improvement over the predicted 21F.

I then threw away many many coleus. I just don't have the inspiration needed to nurse that many weak plants along.

So here is what my ficus starts look like now. I have done nothing to them since July 22nd except water them erratically...poor things!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 10:04PM
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dodgerdudette

Those Ficus look pretty good to me ! My Ficus Repens looks almost exactly the same as it did the last time I posted a pic. I guess I better feed it !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 7:31PM
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michelle_zone4

Deanne, that coleus is quite an accomplishment! What kind is it? You cut it back, how hard? I'm not sure I dare to admit it, but I'm trying several coleus as standards.

'bug, yours are coming along nicely.

Michelle

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 12:48PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Michelle, thanks so much! It really was looking good before I hacked it back. I do cut it back SEVERELY and remove all the leaves before taking it inside. I'll have to get a photo of it in its sad nubbins state right now. All the leaves that it grew outside eventually fall off anyway and by taking them off before I bring it in I reduce the chance of bringing in any bugs with it. The varietal name is 'Malabar'. I got the original from Rosy Dawn Gardens a few years ago. This is going to be its third winter indoors. I'm thinking of starting a few more coleus standards because they are easy to shape because they grow so fast. You'll have to let us know how you are doing with yours.

Bug those variegated ficus are so pretty!

Deanne

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 6:45PM
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ctlavluvr

It's heartening to know that our project is still going on! Here is how things look now. The variegated plant is for my teenaged neighbor who really thought that participating in a continent-wide Holiday project was "too Cool!!" She plans a wreath...

Martie

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 7:35AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

My project is looking just okay. I brought it in the house a few weeks ago, and it did drop a few leaves after the change. It is now growing back a few new ones, but of course, the new leaves are small and it is looking a little sparse. I'll try to get a photo soon.

Coleus standard is looking so rounded in such a pretty container, how is it faring after it's trip indoors?

I love that variegated ficus Gardenbug, I didn't realize you could take cuttings easily.

Martie, your ivy is really filling in. Is there some time frame for having these finished?

pm2

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 8:10AM
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