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Instant Topiaries with David Haskell


But with a large plant and a little bit of elbow grease, it's easy to create an "instant" topiary right in your own home -- a perfect decoration for the holidays.

David Haskell, son of legendary late plantsman Allen Haskell and proprietor of Haskell Nursery in New Bedford, Massachusetts, explains how to make an instant double-ball topiary.



  • Full plant with a straight stem
  • Large shears, pruners, and/or clippers


  1. Step 1

    Choose a full plant with a straight stem. Dwarf brush cherries are a great choice because they grow well indoors; they're slow growing; and they have rich, dark-green leaves.

  2. Step 2

    Using large shears, pruners, and/or clippers, remove unwanted branches at the bottom and midsection of the plant to expose the stem.

  3. Step 3

    Leaving ample room between the soil and foliage, trim the bottom "ball." Trim a smaller ball at the top of the plant, keeping the gaps of exposed stem at a uniform length.

The Martha Stewart Show, December 2009