How to Make Disney Topiaries

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There are three types of topiaries that you can make -- free-form, shrub and sphagnum. Free-form is where you cut an already grown shrub or tree into a shape with shears or other cutting instrument. Shrub is where you place a metal frame over a growing plant, which can take up to 10 years. Sphagnum is where you make a form using moss and plant plugs, which grow to form the desired shape. If you do not have the skills and talent to form a shrub into a Disney character yourself or don't have the time involved for a shrub topiary, then the logical choice is a sphagnum topiary.

Things You'll Need

  • Frame
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Latex gloves
  • Bucket
  • Dish soap
  • Fishing line
  • Scissors
  • Plant plugs
  • Dibble
  • Select your frame. This can be your favorite Disney character or character that fits your theme, if you are making more than one. There are many places to buy these frames, including gardening websites, craft stores or through a catalog.

  • Put on your latex gloves. Always wear protective gloves when handling the sphagnum moss from your topiary. This lowers the risk of fungal disease and allergic reactions from the moss.

  • Fill a bucket with water and add a drop of dish soap.

  • Submerge your sphagnum moss in the bucket of water until it is completely wet.

  • Stuff your frame with the sphagnum moss, filling in the extremities first. This includes arms, legs, ears, tail, bows or any other area the moss may have a hard time growing into.

  • Feel around to see if you can feel the frame when pressing on the sphagnum moss, and look to see if all the wires are covered. If so, you are done stuffing the frame. If not, continue until both requirements are met.

  • Tie fishing line tightly around the frame and the sphagnum moss, several times, along the curves and angles of the frame. Make sure not to use too much, as you don't want to be able to see the line.

  • Trim any hanging moss, but remember you won't be able to see the sphagnum moss once the plants have grown.

  • Dig holes for your plugs with a dibble. How many holes you need and how far apart they need to be will depend on what type of plant you choose to use. The most popular type is creeping fig, but any small plants that clump will work.

  • Hold the frame in one hand and press the dibble down into the moss, turning it clockwise, with the other hand. Go as far as you can into the sphagnum moss with the dibble.

  • Put a plug into the new hole immediately, before the moss closes up the hole.

  • Cover the hole with wet sphagnum moss and stick in outside in the sunshine. Remember to fertilize the plants regularly.

References

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