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Lemon Topiary How-To

Lemon Topiary How-To

Zest up your dinner table with these easy-to-make lemon topiaries. They are seriously showstoppers!

What you'll need:

- Vase

- Styrofoam cone

- Lemons

- Wooden skewers

- Leaves (preferably salal, i.e. lemon leaf)

- Newspaper or some filler for the vase

Next, you'll need to cut the skewers down into approximately 4" to 5" lengths. Make sure to cut them on an angle (on each end), so it's easier to pierce both the lemon and the styrofoam. Insert the skewer into the bottom of the lemon. For a 21" x 5" cone, we needed about 50 lemons. The last part of the prep is simple: trim the salal (lemon leaf) into short pieces that have a couple leaves on the stem. Don't forget to cut the lemon leaf with enough stem so you can put it in the styrofoam.

Even though we used fresh lemons and leaves, these lasted about five days outside before the lemons started to go moldy. The leaves actually dry fairly green, so don't worry about these browning too much.

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Now we're ready to get started building the topiary! It's pretty simple—just work from the bottom up. First, fill the vase with newspaper so that the topiary is level. You can fill the vase up to the top with newspaper (this will make for the tallest version and the most top-heavy), or you can have the cone sit inside the vase a bit, which will make it more secure. Then insert some leaves sporadically into the cone. You'll want to create a collar of leaves around the top of the vase and underneath the first row of lemons (to essentially hide the 'seam' of where the vase ends and the topiary begins). The leaves work to cover the spaces in between the lemons and make it more full and natural. Just a heads up, you don't need any glue for the leaves (or the lemon skewers). They just stay in the styrofoam.

Now, start building! Bottom row first, roughly work your way up in rings, using the leaves to fill in any holes between the lemons. And then, voila! You're done!

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{Photo by Felicia Lasala}

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