Herbal topiary is an art that anyone can master. It's wonderful to be able to pick up some rosemary plants for 2.00 each and with a little instant trimming they are worth 20.00 and upwards. Yes they look impressive, too. They make great additions to the table, indoors and outdoors. If you are really frugal you can save the cuttings and root them for more plants. Or you can toss them into the barbeque for some aroma therapy and wonderful flavoring for grilled food. If you have rosemary in your garden you can cut some stronger stems and use them as kebab skewers. Just thread the meat and vegetables on and the flavor is almost the same as being in France...and much cheaper.
I took an upright growing plant, don't get a creeping one, called "Barbeque" and decided on two balls or tiers. Take some scissors or trimming tool and at the center mark start cutting away the branches at the center stem. Cut all the side stems off in this middle area and you will have a top and bottom with a bare middle. Trim the bottom tier into a round ball shape and also the top tier.... and wow, it's beautiful. I always repot mine, too, to give the roots more room to grow so the topiary standard becomes lush.This BBQ rosemary has the limest green leaves of all the rosemarys. You can use gray leaved herbs such as lavender and lavender cotton, too.
Terra cotta pots can be painted so that your little collection matches or paint each pot a different color. I painted a westie, no surprise there, with my favorite lime green! It is for sale in my ebay store now. http://www.candylei.ebaystores.com/
If you haven't planted your gladiolius' yet go ahead and do it. It's not too late. They will bloom around labor day and the great part is most everyone else's are over and done with at that time. They'll wonder what your trick is. Another easy eye-catcher is to plant sunflower now. Yes, their blooms will be so welcome in September, too.
Westies are adorning cupcakes here at our house. I'm having so much fun with the fondant trying to make something cute, artistic, delicious and all edible...and the buttercream frosting... so rich! I found two excellent cupcake artists. One is zalita in S. Africa and the other is Kylie Lambert in Australia. Kylie makes a living baking and selling cakes and cupcakes and Zalita is a stay at home mom whose decorated cupcakes are in demand where she lives. It has prompted me to be creative myself starting with westie cupcakes...my own creation, not to sell, but to master the art of gum paste and fondant.
And what does Sir Salty have to say about all this? He BEGS for cupcakes and I can only give him a pinch of cake because I don't want him to get sick..and when I do this I am secretly glad the vet lives out of sight. Then I pick up a toy of his and toss it and he amazingly forgets about cupcakes and runs after the toy. Speed is his middle name. Sweet tooth is his second. Spoiled is maybe his third.