December 23, 1990 |
The elephant lost its trunk. The 16-foot-tall giraffe lost its head. Both injuries were the result of a 1954 hurricane that roared through this Rhode Island town. But don't worry: The elephant and giraffe recovered and are doing just fine. Unlike most other creatures, these animals can grow back any missing parts. They are members of the menagerie here at Green Animals, the oldest topiary garden in America.
May 20, 1990 |
To most gardeners, topiary is the art of shaping plants into figures of animals or geometric forms by trimming and pruning them, or by making wire frames and planting them. During the Renaissance, the art of trimming and pruning flourished in the gardens of France and Italy, and today we're all familiar with the wire-frame topiary creations at Disneyland and Disney World. But you needn't own a villa or a theme park to have a green menagerie. And you don't even have to have a back yard.
February 24, 1990 |
Say topiary and these images might pop into mind: lions, tigers, bears and perhaps bunnies lovingly shaped and snipped from the greenery of an English garden. But the world of topiary is much broader. Quite simply, topiary is the pruning and training of shrubs and trees into ornamental shapes, and those shapes may be as basic as geometric forms or as elaborate as a ship in full sail. Topiary encompasses small, portable plantings as well as the great, maze-like hedges of estate gardens.
September 23, 1989 |
It will be about five years before Roger Rabbit makes the scene. Mary Poppins should be ready to take root in about three years. It all depends on how much greenery they muster, and whether they have any bald spots. Roger, Mary and about 50 other characters and animals are the not-quite-ready-for-prime-time topiary figures in Disneyland's landscaping area, out of the public view.
September 23, 1989 |
The home gardener can undertake any of the four types of topiary but should realize that the art takes imagination--and patience. The simplest method is free form, which involves no support structure. "Free form relies solely on the creativity of the gardener trimming the plant," said Disneyland's Ken Inouye. Outside It's a Small World, some of the shrubs are carved into geometric shapes, such as boxes and spheres.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 5, 1988 |
For most of his life, Frank Barraza yearned to be an artist. But life being what it is, the Anaheim resident worked much of his life as a laborer in the construction business. Today, Barraza has found his artistic niche in topiary art, sculpting shrubs and trees into a variety of ornamental animals and encasing the figures in chicken wire for easy trimming. "Throughout the years, I've taken a lot of art classes," said Barraza, 52, who creates his shrub animals in his back yard.
March 20, 1988 |
TOPIARY is the ancient art of training and trimming living trees, shrubs and ivies into ornamental shapes--the most traditional being balls, cones and multi-tiered shapes. Early Roman gardens were garnished with trees and hedges formed into animals--dogs, pigs and peacocks. One design featured a row of trees fashioned into elephants, with the trunk of each holding the tail of the one ahead.