Saturday, December 3, 2011
Cut all the florets off the flowers and press the stems into the ball. I used a toothpick to make a "pilot hole". Start at the top and work your way down, spacing them so that they're bunched together and look full. Leave space at the bottom to insert the dowel. If you have any florets left over, carefully look at your ball and see if there are any places that look spare, and fill in. You can also rearrange the orientation of the 4-petaled florets to cover any thin places.
I happened to have a 14-inch piece of 1/4" dowel on hand, so that's what I used. Paint the dowel (I used a mossy green), let dry, and carefully insert into the ball, being careful to keep it vertical. If you don't, it will go in crooked and your topiary will look lopsided.
Paint your pot, if desired, and let dry. Trim a piece of florist foam (I had some on hand; you could also use styrofoam) so that it fits into the pot very snugly. Mark the center of the foam and insert the dowel - again being careful to keep it vertical.
Attach dried moss to the top of the foam with hot glue. Gather several loops of ribbon with a small piece of wire and twist the wire to hold the ribbon loops in place. Wrap the wire ends tightly around your toothpick and insert the pick into the base of your foam ball, near the dowel. Done!
The eggplant and mulberry colors in my topiary are inspired from the shower curtain, which has dusty mauve, plum and moss, on an off-white background. You don't have to use hydrangeas, of course, small rosebuds work for this beautifully, but you need a ton of them. The most tedious and time-consuming part is putting the flowers in the styrofoam. I think I spent over an hour doing it - on a 4-inch ball! (Finished ball is about 6 inches across.)