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Colorful Topiaries a Growing Concern

March 08, 1998|FROM TIMES WIRES

Think of it as the Tournament of Roses parade, only stationary. And it lasts two months.

The 7th Annual Spring Flower Festival at Cypress Gardens in Florida, running next Sunday through May 15, offers two dozen giant topiaries of animals real and fanciful. Among them are a ladybug, snail, Easter bunny, cardinal, sea lion and an inchworm--at 50 feet, the longest creation. Some are animated. For instance, the sea lion spins a beach ball.

The topiaries are built on metal frames, which are then covered with moss and planted, by hand, with thousands of begonias and other flowering plants. Sprinkling systems inside the frames help maintain the plants.

The 200-acre park, also known for its water ski shows, ice skating revues and other attractions, is near Winter Haven, Fla. Admission is $32.81, adults (which also covers one child per adult), $22.21 children 6-17 and free under 6. Information: (800) 282-2123.

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