Turn your evergreens into party-ready containers.

A Festive Look for Topiaries

Now is the time to pull out all the stops when it comes to decorating, so start at the front door. You can do more than just hang a wreath. Here's how to transform two classics you may already have--a spiral juniper and a boxwood. Everything but the fruit and flowers is available at your local crafts store.

Sensational Spirals
Step 1: Start by twining a mesh netting, such as Floral Wrapper, around the clipped portion of the juniper. Its springy, netted texture holds up well outdoors and is the perfect base for other adornments. For best results, secure the netting to the plant with florist wire every 8 to 10 inches until you reach the top of the plant.

Step 2: Next, thread green florist wire through seasonal fruit, such as citrus and apples. Secure the fruit by wrapping the wire around sturdy branches for optimum stability. We strung groups of five or six kumquats together to form mini-garlands and wired them to the topiary to echo the netting. Fill in with glass or plastic ornaments.

Step 3: Finish by tucking fresh roses into the juniper. We used two dozen roses on a 6-foot-tall topiary. When placed in water-filled florist vials, blooms will last almost two weeks if nights and days are cool. Remember to refill the water vials every few days. Cover the top of the soil with the remaining fruit, and add twinkle lights for nighttime sparkle.

Beautiful Boxwoods
Keep the look simple for a pretty boxwood in a container. A kumquat garland draping the edge of your pot makes a dramatic statement, especially if other fruit, such as pomegranates and citrus, surrounds the plant's base. The addition of lights offers a nice touch.

"A Festive Look for Topiaries" is from the December 2007 issue of Southern Living.