Oh my! What I thought would be a rather simple holiday craft project ended up turning into a long and tedious process dealing with the boxwood rather than pine, fir, or spruce. Boxwood is the most common landscaping tree/shrub planted for topiary (shaping) purposes. Think of topiary as a process similar to trimming hair. You see, I'm one of those moms that trims their children's hair in a way that promotes snickers, gasps and strange looks. Ever notice Gabriel's recent haircut? Nevertheless, I keep at it thinking that I will one day gain enough experience to trim my children's hair to at least a Supercuts standard. I know, I'm dreaming.
So how did I come across the mini-topiary Christmas tree idea? Well, my Dad was in the process of graciously donating a few minutes rearranging my cookbook shelves, by author and category, when Dad discovered a certain medium-sized book. He pulled it half way from the shelf exclaiming: "Hey, this is pretty neat", in an inquisitive tone. It was from my Martha Stewart cookbooks collection, entitled: Martha Stewart's Christmas (1986). Dad handed over the book. Enthusiastically, I responded, "Oh my god, it is! I forgot about that."
Skimming the pages, I came across Martha's Wreaths and Topiaries chapter of that book, and turned to the topiary subheading. Martha wisely suggested fashioning mini-topiaries employing chicken wire as a framework for the foliage. I sketched out my design then and there. After that, I immediately headed outdoors to find some discarded chicken wire that I fortunately had on hand...lucky me.
After finding the chicken wire, I used heavy wire cutters to obtain a generous hunk of the hexagonally woven wire.When handling chicken wire, Martha warns that stray ends of sharp wire could puncture your hands, so wear protective gloves (gloves with thick leather or synthetic palms are best).