Basic Florals
Taught by Nora Creeach of Bluebonnet Crafters

Topiary and Cemetery Arrangements

Topiaries can be fun arrangements. They can be made of live plants trained and trimmed, dried materials or silk. There are three popular designs. A single sphere at the top of a pole, a cone shape on a pole and a large sphere partially up the pole with a smaller sphere on the top. These are generally covered with Spanish moss and then floral material.

In the event of a live plant the plant material itself is trimmed to form any of these shapes or animal and whimsical shapes and the whole topiary depends on the skill of the trimming shears.

Topiary gardens were very popular at one time. The landscape artist designed what the finished product would look like, planted trees and bushes that could be easily trimmed to form the design he had in mind. It would take a period of years as the plant grew and was groomed to achieve a recognizable design. Now topiaries are built of available materials and can be completed in a few hours.

Three Topiary Shapes


Single Sphere Topiary


Styrofoam carved to fit into container
Styrofoam ball
Spanish moss
Greening pins
Floral material
Craft glue
Embellishments of your choice

Carve the Styrofoam to fit your container to form a base for your topiary. A small amount of craft glue on the bottom of the Styrofoam will anchor it to the inside of the container. Dip both ends of the pole in the craft glue and position the pole in the center of this Styrofoam base, add the sphere to the top of the pole and allow to dry.

Spread craft glue over the Styrofoam base and cover with Spanish moss. Repeat this procedure with the sphere. With both the base and the sphere covered with Spanish moss you have more freedom with your arrangement since you will not of necessity have to cover the entire surface with floral material.

If you are using a vine type greenery such as ivy arrange some sprigs in the base which with the main streamer dipped in glue and placed at the base of the pole spiral around the pole up onto and around the sphere. This could be considered a finished topiary.

Adding additional flowers, accents such as Mushroom birds, butterflies, etc. to embellish the topiary means that it can be an ongoing project. Those elements you wish to remain permanent should be dipped in glue before they are inserted into the foam through the Spanish moss. If you wish to make the arrangement where it can be changed greening pins can be used to hold the elements in place, removed and the elements changed.

Topiaries come in all sizes from a small table top to a life sized small tree size. Very Victorian topiaries are made with all dried flowers and dried roses. Modern incorporate just greenery, usually silk, but live philodendron can be trained to grow on your topiary.

Cemetery Arrangements

There is very little difference in the style of arrangements used for the cemetery. The biggest difference is in the container. On the market there is a metal container called a "cemetery vase". This is a cone shaped holder with a spike on the bottom that can be inserted into the ground.

This container is filled with Styrofoam anchored with craft glue or the aerosol foam that hardens after introduced into the container. Most craft and floral departments will sell these containers with the expanding foam already in them.

You make your arrangement in this container following any of the traditional floral arrangements you learned earlier in the class.

Another presentation is the wreath holder that is either anchored in the ground or built onto a clasp over the headstone. Any of the wall mounted arrangements can be used with this presentation.

A Styrofoam cross is also sold in craft and floral departments for cemetery arrangements. These as a general rule have some type of spike or stand included. A simple arrangement of floral and ribbon beginning at the cross pieces and fanning out from there is customary.

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Basic Florals

Bluebonnet Crafters
Bluebonnet Village Craft Network

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