Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mystery Critter Wednesday 16 Solved

Giraffe Topiary

Well the Mystery Critter fans were stumped this week! Sometimes the answer is as plain as the big green Giraffe in front of your face. But for being such loyal fans I have included a nice Busch Gardens Giraffe for you to enjoy. But first here's some cool facts about Topiary.

Topiary is the horticultural practice of training of live perennial plants, by clipping the foliage and twigs of trees, shrubs and subshrubs to develop and maintain clearly defined shapes, perhaps geometric or fanciful; and plants which have been shaped in this way. It can be an art and is a form of living sculpture. The word derives from the Latin word for an ornamental landscape gardener, topiarius, creator of topia or "places", a Greek word that Romans applied also to fictive indoor landscapes executed in fresco. No doubt the use of a Greek word betokens the art's origins in the Hellenistic world that was influenced by Persia, for neither Classical Greece nor Republican Rome developed any sophisticated tradition of artful pleasure grounds.

The plants used in topiary are evergreen, mostly woody, have small leaves or needles, produce dense foliage, and have compact and/or columnar (e.g. fastigiate) growth habits. Common species choices used in topiary include cultivars of European box (Buxus sempervirens), arborvitae (Thuja spp.), bay laurel (Laurus nobilis), holly (Ilex spp.), myrtle (Eugenia or Myrtus species), yew (Taxus species), and privet (Ligustrum species.). Shaped wire cages are sometimes employed in modern topiary to guide untutored shears, but traditional topiary depends on patience and a steady hand; small-leaved ivy can be used to cover a cage and give the look of topiary in a few months. The hedge is a simple form of topiary used to create boundaries, walls or screens.

Topiary Research

Photographs by me at Busch Gardens Tampa.


SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I cant believe no one saw this Craig. I even gave them a hint that the answer would "grow on them". :)

An excellent post. That has to be the best done giraffe I have ever seen. What amazed me was the plant they used to mark off its rings and make it more life-like.

scot said...

WHAT!!!???? I don't know who see's a giraffe, but there is definitely a big foot in the bushes. And it is not a "Topiary" one either. Whatever topiary is...

woodpecker said...

Why didn't I realise that big green Giraffe was the critter, I feel so dumb, doooh

Country Mouse Studio said...

wow, that's amazing :O)