Make an ivy topiary for a year-round living garden ornament that adds a focal point to designs and a little fun to your outside space!
Most evergreen plants typically used for topiary, such as box or yew, are very slow-growing so ivy makes a fantastic substitute trained over a ready-made frame. You can make your own frame out of wire, or we have a great choice of topiary frameworks in the garden centre here in Swarkestone, whether you want a simple ball or spiral or you’re going all out and aiming for a peacock!
Any ivy will do to make your topiary: choose from plain green, which gives an effect most similar to conventional topiary, or prettily variegated foliage edged with silver or gold which looks particularly cheerful and bright in winter. Pick out as large a plant as you can manage to give the fullest coverage right from the start.
Start with a large container, big enough to hold your frame with a little extra around the edges. Fill with a 50:50 mix of multipurpose compost and a soil-based compost like John Innes no.2, then plant up the pot with a generous amount of ivy. Position the wire framework over the top. Use your fingers to gently pull strands of ivy through the wire, weaving them in and out so they cover the whole framework. Tuck in the ends to neaten off.
Your new topiary is really easy to look after as ivy is a trouble-free plant requiring little attention and happy in sun or part shade. Keep the pot watered and give the plants a liquid general purpose feed (such as seaweed) once a month between April and September. In time the ivy fills out and covers the whole frame: then just give it a quick clip occasionally to keep it neat.