Loading…
Monday, July 14, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
Published: Tuesday, 1/28/2014

IN THE GARDEN

Keep warm with indoor project

Easy-to-make hanging topiary a great project to get mind out of igloos

BY KELLY HEIDBREDER
GARDENING COLUMNIST FOR THE BLADE
Kelly Heidbreder Kelly Heidbreder
Enlarge

Don’t look out the window today. There’s just too much snow and we need an infusion of lush green growth to lift those winter blahs.

I am giving you permission to put down the snow shovel for the day and grab a small trowel instead. Yeah, I said trowel.

 

Beautiful baskets

I’ve got a quick projector or two for you. Make an easy hanging topiary with a metal mesh food storage basket. These triple decker catch-alls can hold just about anything from onions to utensils. You are going to stuff one with plants. Keep an eye out for other unique containers for those houseplants like a rustic old tool box, pitchers, or even decorative boxes.

To embellish each basket, line them with moistened sheet moss. Shape it to the sides of your basket with the dark green side showing through the mesh. If you want them to be a little water tight, you can slide in a thin plastic liner. Some flower shops have thin plastic liners that will work. The lid of a plastic butter dish will also work.

 

Fill ’er up!

Next, using your small trowel, carefully set in a houseplant like ivy or pothos. A hanging plant works really well in each basket. The top basket is the smallest. Fill this one first. Use a small plant that will grow up and out, rather than hang over the edge. Try stonecrop or plant seeds like basil or catnip.

Plant the middle basket next. A colorful, eye-catching plant will fill in nicely. Gesneriaceae, also known as goldfish plant, would be fun. It has red blossoms that look like little red gold fish darting in and out of the coral. Rabbit’s-foot fern or davalliaceae has delicate foliage that would fill this space with wispy green leaves. Try some purple sage or a big violet. A hanging plant like a spider plant is easy to care for and will work well in these baskets. Ivy is another good choice. Just make sure the plant doesn’t hang down in front of your plant in the lower basket.

The bottom basket will plant something that will hang over the edge. Since it is at your eye-level, it is also a great place to plant something seasonal. I like to fill mine with ivy, spider plant or pothos.

 

Hang on

Hang the three-basket planter from the ceiling with an anchor that will be able to handle the weight of a few houseplants. You will need more substantial than just a few finish nails or a small screw. It should be able to hold at least ten pounds.

 

Pinch it

Your plants might be a little stressed out after being transplanted. The roots need to be tickled a little bit to activate new growth. You can do this just by pinching off some of the budding ends. The plant will get off to a better start with a stronger foundation. Give each basket enough water to keep the soil moist, but not too wet. Check it every week for additional moisture. If you are struggling to keep it watered, just put a few ice cubes in each basket once a week.

That was fun. Now, go grab the snow shovel.

Contact Kelly Heidbreder at getgrowing@gmail.com 



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.

Related stories