Boxwood globe topiary

For small chapel altars, window ledges, stairs, niches and spots where a touch of green is welcome- topiaries are worth the investment.  Boxwood, rosemary, ivy and other green plants which may be trained on a wire form will last through Epiphany, and if properly tended, will go right through until next Christmas.  Ivy is especially versatile and cuttings from an ivy topiary may be used all year in altar floral arrangements.  Ivy comes in many shapes and shades of green from tiny needlepoint ivy to waxy white-tipped variagated ivy. Ivy is particularly well-suited to train around any wire form, circular, cone-shaped, heart-shaped, or globe.

ivyOn a stairway

ivy2Varigated ivy trained on a wire heart-shaped form made from a coat hanger.

rosemary-topiaryFragrant rosemary topiaries are often found in area grocery stores and Walmarts in the 15-25 dollar range.  Rosemarys like to be kept moist and spritzed.  As beloved gardener Adelma Simmons used to say- “A wet rosemary is a happy rosemary”.  Invest in a good fine mist sprayer. During the dry winter months when the dessicating heat is pouring through church heat registers, green plants will benefit from frequent mistings. 

How to make a quick boxwood tree-shaped topiary:


Create a Fresh Topiary Boxwood Tree for the holiday season. Making a fresh cut Topiary Boxwood Tree is easy and looks gorgeous when finished  either plain or with all the holiday trimmings added. Always a holiday favorite, the Topiary Boxwood Tree is made in wettable floral foam, so if kept moist, this arrangement can stay fresh for a month or two.

You will need the following:

  • 1 block wettable floral foam
  • waterproof floral tape
  • low decorative container as the base
  • fresh cut boxwood tips, cut down into 5-6″ lenghts
  • decorative accents, according to the style you prefer
  • scissors, garden clippers, florist knife, hot glue gun (optional)
  1. Begin by taping the block of foam, longest sided vertically into the container.
  2. With a florist knife, shape the top of the foam into a tree top, by carving a peak at the top of the foam.
  3. Soak the foam until it’s saturated with water.
  4. Before you begin inserting boxwood tips, strip off the lower leaves of each tip, so the bottom end of each tip has a 1-1/2 inch bare bottom. Make a sharp diagonal cut, creating a spear like end to insert into foam.
  5. Start at the very top, with your tree top. Insert a 3″ boxwood tip vertically into the top center of the foam.
  6. At the base, insert a radius of tips horizontally around the base of the foam, leaving these tips a bit longer than the top tip, about 5-6″ long.
  7. Work your way from the top, angling out each radius of tips you insert, just like an evergreen tree in nature would.
  8. When complete insert sprigs of babies breath or decorations between the boxwood sprigs.

 Plain boxwood looks great but the tree might be embellished with: dried rosebuds, hydrangea petals, baby’s breath, herbs: lavender, artemisia, tiny roses, hygrangea, yarrow,  mini sugared fruits, berries, cones, pods, rose hips, holly sprigs, small pine cones, pods, tiny twigs.

Most of all, have fun with it! Keep it watered, and your Boxwood Topiary tree will last for weeks!