Some 6 or 7 years ago, I purchased three ivy topiaries in the shape of Christmas trees one holiday season. They were each about three feet tall and stunning, but with my black thumb, they were dead within 6 months and never made it to another Christmas. The ivy was a western variety or at least the more hybrid style topiary friendly ivy, not the more commonly seen ivy growing on your neighborhood cement walls. They had nicely shaped dark green leaves and they were trained up this iron base fitted onto a terra cotta pot. When the plants died, I had visions of planting other vines in the pots but that soon gave way to relegating the pots to the beach bodega for storage (where all the white elephants tend to end up)… Then a couple of weekends ago I also brought out some 15 sets of old Christmas lights that were of dubious quality and the simple but “bright” idea was to use the lights on the topiary frames to terrific results!
We used three strings of Christmas lights on each topiary (300 bulbs) and we could have used more to really make it tighter, but 300 seemed right to me.
A pair of topiary light trees were placed outdoors, and their reflections on glass doors and on the water made for a wonderfully simple yet festive effect. We normally don’t put any Christmas decorations out at the beach, but we were preparing for some balikbayan guests, long-time friends who we hadn’t spent time with in years, so we wanted the setting to be a little bit more festive and special…
The topiaries looked terrific and lit up dark spots in the outdoor seating aresa. And since they were made of “re-incarnated” or “re-cycled” lights and pots, they cost next to nothing.
The third topiary was placed indoors to equally good results. It’s a bit wonky to put a terra cota pot on a large wooden chest… but it still looked nice to me. And please, no comments about Rudolph’s antlers in the basket nearby… he slammed into our satellite dish last year and we saved his antlers as a memento of his visit (I am being mischievous…deer shed their antlers naturally by rubbing up against trees, then they grow new antlers the following season).