I love topiaries.  I used to have a couple really big artificial ivy topiaries on my front porch, until my neighborhood association sent me a letter saying they were in violation of the rules (because they were artificial) and needed to be removed immediately, or they would slap me with a fine.

But that's another story.

Since then, I've backed away from topiaries, but I think their time has come once again.  Here are some photos of tabletop topiaries that I love.  The thing that's great about these topiaries is that you can go to a craft store and buy a topiary form and make 'em yourself.  No really, you can!  Lemme show you.

From Christmas With Southern Living 2005

This topiary just shouts Christmas festivity, don't you think?  The combination of the red roses and green apples is really beautiful.  Here's something you may not know, though-- apples (and other kinds of fruit) give off a gas that wilts flowers and causes them to have brown spots.  True story.  I worked at a florist all through college and know these things.  But artificial fruit is pretty inexpensive and looks just like the real thing-- just don't tell my homeowner's association about it.  It'll be our little secret, okay?

From Christmas With Southern Living 2005

Here's another in festive red and green, and this one would be really easy to recreate.  Carnations get a bad rap, I know-- but in this application they look really pretty.  The ruffled texture of the flowers looks feminine.  The great thing about carnations is that they fill in a lot of space and are inexpensive.  See how they've put the carnations at different depths to create more visual interest?  That's key in any flower arrangement-- varying the depths of the flowers.  Perhaps I'll do a post on that some other time.

From Christmas With Southern Living 200?

How about wowing your guests with an edible centerpiece?  This is called a croquebouche, and is made of what are basically cream puffs (also called profiteroles-- I did my homework).  Usually in a croquembouche the cream puffs are attached using caramel, but here they used white chocolate which looks great for Christmas.  Now, if you are handy with baking you could probably whip up the cream puffs yourself.  But as I am not handy with baking, I would probably buy them from a bakery, assemble the croquembouche, and call it a day.  Oh, and if you don't want to do one this size, you could make several small croquembouches instead.

I also think this concept could work with other goodies.  Perhaps doughnut holes or beignets.  You could even do one for the kids with popcorn balls or rice krispie treats shaped into balls.  There are lots of possibilities!

For the rest of the day, you will be saying croquembouche in your head.  As will I.



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