Owl Topiary


I was pretty excited to get started on this owl topiary but now that it’s finished I don’t like it. I’m finding if it’s a more vertical topiary, they are harder to plant. The more horizontal ones – like the turtles are easier. It doesn’t help either that for some reason getting the photos to my computer and then uploaded to here did not go as usual.

When I’m working with pictures, I usually change all of my file names to more descriptive titles before uploading. I may even include their order in the file name. Unfortunately each time I attempt to do any of that, my computer freezes up, so here we are. I’ll attempt to make the best of it but this won’t be a proper tutorial.

Circle of wire and beginning of body

For the base of the owl, I made a circle of wire about 7″ across. From there I attached two somewhat egg-shaped pieces of wire, crossed at the center. You can see I twisted them together and then wrapped it with finer wire to secure them. These are then attached to the base with all wire ends facing into the body of the owl.

Forming owl beak and ear tufts

This next piece of wire forms the beak and ear tufts.

completed frame for owl topiary

Before wrapping the frame in mesh, I added a third wire to support the center of the beak. I’m not sure it was necessary, but I do know it made planting in that area tricky.

attaching mesh to base of owl topiary form

The chicken wire is formed into a tube again, and the bottom edge securely attached to the base of the owl form.

Wire mesh over owl form

I’ve mentioned shaping the chicken wire in other posts. It’s surprisingly easy. If you compress the hexagons of the mesh one way, they get longer the other way. So when I want the ‘belly’ of the owl larger than the base, I shorten the hexagons and it gets wider. At the top of the owl’s head the mesh gets overlapped and wired close.

squeeze extra water from moss and fill frame

From there I started stuffing the owl. Squeeze out the moss as much as possible, and fill the owl topiary. The ear tufts took special attention to make sure they were completely filled. The entire owl took a surprising amount of moss to fill – it needs to be firmly packed in because it seems to shrink as it dries.

Planting the Owl Topiary

Until this point, I was pleased with my owl. It looked like an owl and more important, it looked like the picture in my head. Then I started planting it.

two large rosette shaped succulents for eyes

I’ve had these two rosettes set aside for a while. All along I knew they were going to be my owls eyes.

Tufts added and belly planted

I used florist wire to secure the plants, they can be taken out once everything roots into the moss.

planted owl topiary take one

At this point, I left the owl over night. Sometimes ideas need to simmer.

planted owl topiary take two

Eventually I added more Sempervivum (hens & chicks), thinking that would improve the look of the owl.

It did not.

I’m going to set him in a sunny window for now, we’ll see if time and plants growing improves him a bit but I honestly prefer the look of the mini turtle from last week.

What do you think? Which is your favorite? Click >>here<< to see what I eventually did with this topiary.

If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to share it with your friends! For more just like it follow me on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter or sign up for regular updates by email.

If you have ever thought about starting a garden or craft blog of your own see how easy it is >>here<<.






More Great Ideas!

Author: The Shade Gardener

Hi there! I'm Vanessa, the Shade Gardener. I live in a tiny little house in Ontario with my 2 grown boys, 2 dogs and a cat, where I do my best to grow plants in a heavily shaded yard and soil like cement. I am passionate about my family, my pets, MCM furniture and cheese. When I'm not in the garden I do a bit of crafting and sewing. Sometimes I build topiary animals from chicken wire for fun.

Comments are closed.