the festival topiaries.

As promised, today’s ‘Sunday mornings in the garden’ post is brought to you from Disney World’s Epcot.

Normally when my sister and I go to Disney, we like to go in the fall.  The weather is perfect in late October to early November, and the crowds aren’t super awful then either. But this year we decided to go for my sister’s birthday, which happened to be during Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival.

The says that “more than 500,000 plants, trees, and shrubs are planted for the festival; 250,000 of those are annual blossoms installed for the festival.”

In other words, it’s a massive amount of plants and tons of color.

I really thought I’d be able to share all of my photos in one blog post, but as I’m working on it I realize that it’s far too much for just one so I’m going to break it down into a couple of different posts.

There are around 25 themed gardens featured for the festival ranging from the Bouquet Garden in the France pavilion to the Shishi-odoshi Garden in the Japan pavilion (and I’ll share more on those in my next post).  There are also a butterfly house, food booths featuring plant based and/or themed food and drink, and a Garden Rocks concert series.  We saw Kool & the Gang and that was super fun.

In addition, there are over 100 topiaries.

But they aren’t what I think of as legit topiaries.  When I say ‘legit topiary’ I am thinking of living shrubs that have been strategically pruned to form a shape.  In my mind, these are the kinds of topiary that Disney was originally known for having in their parks, like these examples in front of It’s a Small World in Disneyland.

Large shrub topiaries can take up to 10 years to create though, so I can understand that they aren’t very practical if you need over one hundred of them.

They had a Topiary Heritage Garden in the United Kingdom Pavilion where they had placards explaining the different types of topiary being used in Epcot, with examples of each.

Standard Form topiary are created by training a woody plant to a long, single stem topped with a round head of foliage.  I think the double globes of foliage below also count as standards, but don’t quote me on that.

The spirals fall into the category of Free Form topiary.

They did have an example of a shrub topiary in the Topiary Heritage Garden, but there were a couple of gardeners trimming it up while we were there so I didn’t snap a photo of it.

Almost all of the topiary at the Food & Garden Festival are what is called Sphagnum Topiary though.  They are created using heavy steel frames that are then fitted with sphagnum moss and fast growing vining plants.  They also will use dried plant material to create details like faces or clothing items.

For example, I’m betting that Miss Piggy’s lavender gloves and shoes, as well as her face, legs and arms are made out of dried plant material.

I’m sorry, I just can’t help but feel like that’s cheating.  How much of these are even real growing plants?

However, although these topiaries feel rather ‘fake’ to me, they are pretty cute.

And this is Disney after all, their goal is to create magical illusions, right?

And I do rather love the ‘fluffy’ ears on Lady …

But tell me, what do you think?  Are you a fan of the sphagnum moss topiaries, or do you find them a little too ‘fake’ looking?  Leave a comment and let me know.

6 thoughts on “the festival topiaries.

  1. I do think these are on the fake side, but are in keeping with the magical illusion of Disney. I love the color and whimsy. Reminds me of the floats in the Rose parade. I love your Sunday garden posts, thank you so much for sharing!


  2. Love the DW Flower show. I have been to DW only twice, but a happy accident to see the show one time. Thank you for tour! The topiaries are so fun, I just enjoy the show & want to create my own (yep, still on my list).


  3. Such wonderful eye candy! It would be such a treat to see in person. Thank you for the show!
    Smiles, alice


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