Heart Shaped Topiary

Ivy, Terracotta Pots and Wire

I've been enamored by terracotta pots all my life, and wire is my second calling, right after twigs.  Ivy is just the icing on the cake. Creating a heart shaped topiary is the perfect melding of all these different things.

Heart Shaped Topiary with ivy

It always seems that the three things judged most likely to give a feeling of nostalgia - terracotta pots, topiary and ivy - are the things that go together flawlessly. 

I like the rustic country look, and here it is with a hint of French garden decor.

The older and more worn the terracotta pots, the fresher it all looks when it's complete - give it a month or two to let it get settled in, twisting the ivy carefully around the wire and it's one of my favorite things to display for the winter on my kitchen sink window.

For an extreme rustic look, put the pot into a wooden box (perfectly aged and weathered, of course) pack a little spagnum moss or Spanish moss around it, and wait for the exclamations of delight.

The wire can be almost anything for this project.  Tie wire, old clothes hangers from the dry cleaners, or even copper wire.  Two strands of tie wire can be twisted together - find out how here.

The only criterion for this is that it's easy to bend, yet will maintain its shape.

Thicker galvanized wire, harder to cut and twistThicker galvanized wire, harder to cut and twist - not to worry, it just gives it even more rustic charm

I tried this both ways - making the dent in the top of the heart shape after the rest was done, and before.  Guess which way is easier?  Before...

Bend this first to make the dent in the top of the heartBend this first to make the dent in the top of the heart

The first part to bend is the center of the heart, using pliers.  Then curve the two ends together, making two more bends where they naturally meet up.

Bend the two ends of the wire together and twist them to make a stand, or legBend the two ends of the wire together and twist them to make a stand, or leg

Twist the two ends together, and then make two pigtails on each end of the wire, bending them out sideways.  This makes the heart stand up in the terracotta pot when you put some soil in the bottom to hold it.

Stand the wire leg in the pot firstStand the wire leg in the pot first, then fill with some of the soil, then place the plant carefully in the center

Then plant the ivy.  I usually de-pot the ivy and take some of the soil off the front and back of the root ball. 

Then when you pot it in place, the stem of the ivy will be close to the wire stand of the heart.

Glacier ivy for training on the Heart Shaped TopiaryA happy and healthy Glacier ivy for training on the Heart Shaped Topiary

Train the ivy tendrils around the wire.  You may have to go back and do this several times as the ivy grows.

Heart Shaped Variegated Ivy TopiaryThe completed Heart Shaped Variegated Ivy Topiary

If you don't have an actual plant, that's fine, use long cuttings from an existing ivy plant - they'll root just fine in the soil in only a few weeks.

A collection of ivy topiariesA collection of ivy topiaries with other rustic accessories like turned spindles and old windows

Ivy grows best in dappled shade, in a bright but not sunny window, or outdoors for the summer. Trim as needed, and make more topiaries with the cuttings.

Learn what it takes to be creative - we all have the gene but how do we develop it? Get the free guide!

Fill in the form below for your copy;

(Don't be disappointed - use an email address that will accept the free download - some .aol email addresses won't. 

If you don't see your download within a few minutes, try again with another email address - sorry for the bother.)

Find out more about the How to be Creative Guide

Free How To Be Creative Guide

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

Please enter the word that you see below.


Follow Blue Fox Farm on Pinterest
Follow Blue Fox Farm on Facebook
Follow Xeria on Twitter