Animal-shaped topiaries are spread throughout the 110-acre Fort Worth Botanic Garden, prompting smiles and surprised second looks from visitors.
“I never will forget I watched a little girl, about six or seven, run past the gorillas and then she did a double-take,” said Steve Huddleston, public relations manager for the garden.
“She turned around and looked back and thought ‘Oh a gorilla!’ People find them fascinating.”
Huddleston said it’s not the first time the garden trained plants to grow into distinctive shapes. But it’s the first time it’s exhibiting 12 life-size animals, rented from Ohio’s Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
The exhibit includes three butterflies, three elephants, two gorillas, a cardinal, gazelle, giraffe and peacock.
Each topiary was shaped with different plants, including ivy, winter annuals, jasmine, ajuga and black mondo grass to give texture and the appearance of the animal’s fur or skin.
“They’re planted in plants, so you’re looking at something familiar but not familiar,” said Huddleston. “It forces you to look at something in a slightly different light.”
The exhibit is up through June 30th and included with the price of Garden admission. Members receive free entry.
Here’s a look at some of the topiaries:
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