Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Make a Dog Topiary

Many people think that making an animal topiary is a really difficult and time consuming project, not so! You can make a topiary in your favorite shape in just a couple of hours. Not only are they fast and easy to make, but they are beautiful and you can profit from your work!

I will show you some dog shaped topiaries in this article but you can buy topiary frames in almost any shape you want. If you are artistic, you can buy chicken wire from any Home Depot or hardware store and make any shape you want to! For my article, I will be using a pre-bought dog frame.

There are a couple of choices to make before you begin crafting your dog topiary. First, do you want the topiary to look full and complete right away or would you like to go for a more natural, grown in look? The latter will take some time, not a whole lot of time, but more time than the former.

If you choose to fill your dog topiary immediately, you will need to fill the form with a mixture of potting soil and sphagnum moss. Make sure it's moist and packed, you can even add some fertilizer. While filling the topiary forms with sphagnum moss is not necessary, it will help your topiary take on a fuller look. Now, you can either leave your topiary like this for yourself or for sale or you can take the next step and plant vining plants around the base of the topiary. This will result in a beautiful topiary! All you need to do is train the vine to wrap around the dog topiary shape and this takes no skill. The more vines you plant, the faster the topiary will be covered. Choose English ivy because it is tolerant of many conditions, it grows quickly and it's beautiful!

Another option is to make your dog topiary with shrubs rather than vines. This is a bit more time consuming but it's not hard. You can place the topiary frame over an existing hedge by carefully pulling the branches through the frame and then carefully trimming the hedge to match the frame. Eventually the hedge will have enough growth and it will fill out the topiary frame. Then you will just have to maintain the shape. If you have artistic vision and some experience, you can just go for it and trim the hedge without a frame.

Some plants that work well for topiaries:

Buxus semipervirens (box) Hedera helix (plain ivy) Ilex aquifolium (holly) Ficus pumila (creeping fig) Laurus nobilis (bay tree) Solerolia soleirolii Rosmarinus officinalis Myrtus communis (myrtle) Taxus baccata (English yew) Marguerite daisy

Garden Guides