Topiaries are bushes, vines and shrubbery trimmed or trained into shapes. The shapes can be geometric such as spheres, squares, triangles and spirals or they may take the shape of animals. Topiaries vary in size from those that will grow in a 6-inch pot to those planted in the landscape reaching upwards to 10 feet or more. Creating a topiary in the shape of a bear requires patience to trim, and time for the plant to fill out the intended form.
Obtain a two-part wire form in the shape of a bear. Some large nurseries have the form, otherwise it may be ordered through catalogs or online. A smaller form is easier to start with and results will be achieved sooner.
Select a full evergreen bush that is slightly larger than the form. Evergreens with small leaves or needles are easier to work with and train than those with big leaves.
Place one half of the form on one side of the bush.
Trim away any branches that are substantially in the way or weave them through the wire form. Don't start clipping small branches.
Place the other half of the form on the opposite side of the bush from the first. Trim any branches that are pushing against the wire form so it won't close or move those branches out of the way. Fasten the first half of the form to the second half.
Work the branches that are trapped inside the form to the outside by weaving them through the wire openings.
Prune the branches to follow the shape of the form clipping them 2 or 3 inches away from the wire. Eventually the branches will completely fill and cover the form.
Plant a vine where the topiary bear will be located. Ivy works well. However there are a number of vines that would be just as appropriate.
Place the wire bear form over the vine. Fasten the form to the ground with bent wire hooks.
Train the vine to grow up, through and around the bear form until it is completely covered.
An alternative method, which is fun for children, is to use a larger bear form, at least 48 inches high and plant pole beans, sweet peas or English peas an inch apart around the base of the form. The vines will grow up the form and take the shape of the bear. And the kids can harvest the string beans or peas.
About this Author
Dee Power holds an MBA. She is the co-author of "Attracting Capital from Angels," "Inside Secrets to Venture Capital," "The Making of a Bestseller," the novel "Over Time," and several screenplays. She contributes to several Web sites and is a regular columnist for favstocks.com