Topiary and Greenery in Homes: the missing element

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Topiary and Greenery in Homes: the missing element

Topiary may be passe’ to some, but they’re still one of my favorite things to have in the home. The downside is topiary type plants (myrtle, ivy, boxwood) don’t generally do well indoors year-round. Topiary and greenery are the missing elements in most homes.

Caring for and Decorating with Fresh and Faux Greenery

If you’re lucky enough to have a greenhouse you can rotate your topiary every month or two but if not, faux floral, topiary and greenery can be used quite effectively in a home with living plants if you put some thought into it. 
Today we’ll explore how that’s done. 



Topiary and Greenery, the Missing Element

I know, I know. You’re afraid to buy them. They are expensive. True. They collect dust. True. They fade. Sometimes. They are tacky. Not true. If you buy the expensive ones and arrange them right. Indoor plants and flowers make a room feel lived in. I say this often to my readers: if your room is missing something and you can’t put your finger on what it is, chances are good that’s it’s either scale, texture or greenery.


Decorating with Faux Greenery

Decorating with faux floral and greenery as well as fresh plants gives you a more natural look. I don’t mean mixing faux and fresh stuff in one pot. I mean having both kinds but using them on different tabletops.  
If you buy quality faux flowers and greenery this method will look very natural. When company comes, or there are special occasions or the nursery has some of your favorite flowers, the faux arrangements or faux topiary go in the hall or laundry room closet and the fresh ones take their places. 



Caring for Faux Greenery

You want to dust your faux topiary, flowers and greenery every few months with a feather duster. Hose them off annually. And fluff or lift the branches and/or blossoms a bit when they start to look misshapen. Keep out of direct sunlight.

Rotate Fresh Topiary

Fresh ivy topiary doesn’t care for permanent indoor life. They winter well indoors but develop bugs mid to late spring. Fresh rosemary or myrtle don’t do well indoors indefinitely either. That leaves you with the option of placing them outside daily (or at the very least on alternating days) to get them the sun they need. That can get time consuming.




Green Houses and Back Up Topiary


You can also keep several outdoor back ups’ that you rotate in and out seasonally, particularly if you have a greenhouse. This is way more realistic, but not all of us have greenhouses. What I do is have a couple of back up plants that I rotate outdoors during growing season. Rotating your plants outdoors regularly during growing season will keep them healthy.


Prune and Feed Fresh Topiary

Prune and feed the gardener’s creed applies to indoor plants as well as outdoor ones. Keep them pruned. Feed them non-toxic plant food. I use Jobe’s Organic Root Feeder stakes. I do a whole stake in my medium plants and ½ a stake in my small ones. For large plants use 1-1/2 to 2 stakes depending on root ball size. They last two months.


Preserved Greenery

Preserved greenery is a real plant material that has been dried and treated with glycerin. They’re priced much higher than the other fresh or faux products, but they don’t fade as quickly if kept out of direct sunlight. Like dried flowers they are dust magnets, however and are a pain to keep clean.

They crumble under a feather duster leaving the only alternative (that I’m aware of) is to gently blow them off with a hair drier on cool setting. Not a task I’m willing to schedule into my own home maintenance schedule. 


More Tips for Decorating with Topiary

When I’m decorating with faux or fresh topiary, I like to do one large, scaled topiary in a great jardinière or pot, between a pair of interesting lamps, placed on a lovely tray or a stack of hard bound books. I also love to do topiary in pairs, particularly on the dining room table in pots that coordinate with the room.

My go to table arrangement for the dining room is to do a tray of alcohol bottles and wine glasses in the center flanked by two modestly sized topiary, on two stacks of books. I’m guessing it takes about four to five books per stack. 

For live plants I like to wire or iron plant racks filled with one, maybe two types of plants or flowers like tiny olive plants, boxwood euonymus, maidenhair ferns or violets. This is equally beautiful indoors or on outside patios.

Always save your quality pots, vases and jardinières even after you think you don’t want them anymore. Having a sizable collection allows you to rotate them seasonally and gives you options when entertaining. 

Another way to decorate with faux objects is with high quality fruits and vegetables. This is another fun way to incorporate seasonal change. Again, go for quality. I like lemons, moss balls, artichokes, apples, Osage orange (they are actually green, not orange) and pears. I’m very select when and where I use them for decoration because they can be easily overdone.
I also use moss balls in the base of my topiary or sometimes alone in a pot or basket.

Keep a large selection of faux greenery and beautiful containers on hand in your pantry or laundry room. They’re awesome for holiday and seasonal decorating or as decorative fillers, for those times you have a spot to fill and don’t know what to put there.

Get Started with a Free Download

I understand why your home is so important to you, my friend.

As a woman who’s experienced many of life’s challenges from the loss of a spouse and depression to osteoarthritis, what got me through was taking excellent care of myself and healing downtime in my beautiful home and garden.

When your home is unattractive and inefficient it’s really hard to feel supported there. It can take a toll on things like your health and wellbeing and cause a noticeable energy drain in your life.

Whether making over one room using the things you have or remodeling your whole home, take the first step to a happier, healthier home life with my free download below. 



The Wellness Home

To get started on a home where you feel healthy, happy and connected grab my complimentary design and wellness download “The Wellness Home” and learn the 5 steps to a beautiful, restful home for women who value their home and wellbeing. 


For more on wellness design and easy home makeovers, check out my post “Give Your Home a Wellness Makeover in One Weekend” plus, the link to my interview with award winning anchor Deirdre Fitzpatrick!

January 29, 2014

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Topiary and Greenery in Homes: the missing element

Topiary and Greenery in Homes: the missing element

Topiary and Greenery in Homes: the missing element