I don’t think I’m particularly obsessed with things being perfectly trimmed and even in my garden…

I always tell people that a little bit of wildness breathes life into a greenspace. This philosophy also happens to make it easier to justify the times when I don’t exactly get everything done to perfection in the garden. There isn’t time to do everything and to do it well, so a laissez-faire policy seems to work as well as any to justify what I do (or don’t do).

So I have to wonder if I have the discipline and patience to accomplish a topiary. Can I do all that training and trimming and spritzing and pinning? Do I even have the time?

I may have to give it a try. I have fallen in love with green dogs–topiary dogs.

Take a look at this pooch from the Philadelphia Flower Show, accomplished with multiple varieties of ivies. Some are solid and some are variegated. See the little pine needle sprigs for his whiskers?


There was a whole topiary dog park at the flower show, complete with the obligatory fire hydrant. Some were sniffing and some were playing. I thought this fellow lolling on his back for a tummy rub was clever.


Since I adore dogs, I think a nice green dog would be a wonderful addition to my garden. And I have extraordinary patience with my real dogs. Perhaps that would transfer to a topiary dog.

Wait. What’s this?


Nice try, Sarah, but topiary dogs are green, not brown.


Um. Okay, you’re partly green now. But you’re still not a topiary dog.

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  • deb says:

    What a cute pup. I could never keep up with a topiary.

    Yeah, I’m a bit worried about whether I could either. I may try with something small. Perhaps not try for the garden show award first time out!

    Robin at Bumblebee

  • RuthieJ says:

    Silly Sarah….how did she get green feet?

    Ah…She and Sophie ran through the newly mown lawn! I have a great photo of the two of them together with green legs. Silly dogs. They’re small but fearless and they love the outdoors.

    Robin at Bumblebee

  • […] to the Bumblebee Blog for this amusing post. Green […]

  • Layanee says:

    Hmmm…green dog feet. Is that the same as a green thumb? LOL

  • Kate says:

    I think it would make a wonderful addition to a garden! Much more tasteful than, say, a statue of a man with his back turned, peeing. I swear. This was in a garden of a wealthy man I used to work for. I say wealthy only because money can’t buy taste.


  • Kathryn says:

    Loved your post. You should absolutely try a topiary dog. Sarah looks eager enough for the both of you. LOL

  • Trudi says:

    Hi, I like your blog. I also like dog-children. Mine is Billy. And I had a Soepheli. I am sure cute Sarah is a good helper in the garden.

  • Brenda Kula says:

    I absolutely love this! I wish I could have seen it. And my youngest adult daughter would have gone crazy for a topiary dog park, as she loves dogs so much she doesn’t want kids, just dogs. She’s nearly 30, so that’s the way it will probably be! Fine with me! Thanks for the peek. Your dog is adorable.

  • Oh, Robin, that made me LOL. Almost ROFL. Love the green feet. How on earth did that happen?~~Dee

  • Jennifer says:

    I enjoyed your “green dogs” article! I didn’t realize that a topiary could be made from ivy plants. I guess its all in the training and having patience.

  • Angela says:

    I like the green feet! Looks like my kids in the summer.

  • Mary says:

    Robin, Sarah is so cute! I love the idea of a topiary dog. Would I have the patience to tend to it? I don’t know…but I’ll be yours would be newsworthy. Go for it!

  • Pattie says:

    Go for it! If the topiary doesn’t work out, you can always turn it into another kind of planting and tell people that you MEANT to do that!

  • jodi says:

    Great fun, Robin! I KNOW I wouldn’t have the patience to do something with topiary, and it wouldn’t look right here, but I’ve seen some very nice and very clever pieces in other yards and gardens. My chaotic garden does well to get deadheaded…

  • Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Robin this is a delightful post. I love dogs too. I don’t have the patience for topiary. I have tried a couple of times. They dry out and die on me. Sigh… I wish you the best of luck. I hope you keep us posted on your progress.

  • Mary Ann Newcomer says:

    Robin, Love the picture of Sarah! And I will be checking in to see what you are growing. So good to meet you this weekend.