love including plants in my design projects and in my own home. A home without
plants or flowers doesn’t look finished or feel inviting.
they’re passé, or maybe they aren’t but either way – – topiary are still my
favorite thing to have in the home. Unfortunately topiary doesn’t generally
care for living indoors all year long. If you’re lucky enough to have a
greenhouse you can rotate your topiary every three to six months but if not,
let me introduce you to one of the best-selling items in my design stores: faux
floral, topiary and greenery. I know, I know. You’re afraid to buy them. They
are expensive. True. They are tacky. Not true, if you buy the expensive ones
and arrange them right. They fade. Not always.
faux floral and greenery in with fresh plants is a great way to have a classy,
natural look. I don’t mean mixing faux and fresh stuff in one pot. I mean
having a fresh plant here and a faux plant there. If you buy quality faux, this
method will look very natural. When
company comes, or there are special occasions or the nursery has some of your
favorite blooms, the faux arrangement or faux topiary goes in the hall or
laundry room closet and the fresh ones take its place. Super easy, right?
But in the meanwhile, while blooms are scarce, enjoy a single flower faux
arrangement like my chartreuse hydrangeas that I absolutely love, twelve years
out of direct sunlight. Dust every few months with a feather duster. Hose your
faux products off annually. And fluff or lift the branches and/or blossoms a
bit when they start to look misshapen.
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. You can also keep several outdoor back
up’s 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.
old adage ‘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. They last for two months. 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.
killed so many ivy topiary over the years on my covered patio, mainly from lack
of sun or too much sun but perhaps not enough water too. I currently have two, 36
inch double ball ivy topiary that I grew from six pack babies and they’re
thriving because they love morning sun and the pruning, feeding and frequent
shaping I give them. I recently moved one just a few feet to receive a hint
more sun and it responded with wilted, burnt leaves so I quickly, pinched back
the burnt leaves and now keep it covered with a flour sack cloth during the hottest
hours. They both stay outside because they’re too big to be brought in, but you
can do the same thing with smaller ivy topiary and rotate them indoors. Hint: always
use plastic saucers inside your pots plus back it up with a pretty ceramic
saucer under the pot too. Indoor plant leaks are super damaging!
greenery is a natural product that has been dried and treated with glycerin.
They’re priced considerably higher than the other fresh and faux products. They
don’t fade quickly if kept out of direct sunlight but like dried flowers they
are dust magnets 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. Plus, surprisingly, they don’t look as
natural as other faux products.
several go-to looks for decorating with greenery. I love to do one nicely
scaled topiary in a great jardinière or ceramic pot, between a pair of
interesting lamps, placed on a lovely tray or a stack of books. I also love to
do topiary in pairs, particularly on the dining room table in pots that
coordinate with the room. My favorite dining room table arrangement to do is a
central tray of alcohol bottles flanked by two modestly sized topiary.
also love doing tall plant racks filled with one to two types of plants or
flowers like maidenhair ferns, violets. This is equally beautiful indoors or on
outside patios. I have a rack of maidenhair ferns in my big kitchen sink window
that gets lots of sun and is easy to water. It sits on the granite countertop
and so there’s no chance of water damage to the floors.
save your quality pots, vases and jardinières. Having a collection of them
allows you to rotate them seasonally and gives you options when entertaining. I
often move mine indoors and out.
way to decorate with faux objects is with high quality fruits and vegetables.
This is another fun way to incorporate seasonal change. I love 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. My favorite is moss balls. I love using them in the
base of my topiary or sometimes alone in a pot.
a large selection of faux greenery and beautiful containers on hand in your
pantry or laundry room. They’re awesome for seasonal decorating or as
decorative fillers, for those times you have a spot to fill and don’t know what
to put there. If your home is missing something and you can’t tell what it is,
it’s usually scale, texture or …. greenery.