Topiaries are structures a gardener can add to their
landscape. They can become permanent structures or temporary. Horticulture has
placed 10 topiaries throughout the zoo. Ours are in animal shapes and close to
the animal size (some a little larger, some a little smaller), but topiaries
can be in any shape or size.
Most topiaries begin with rebar bent into the desired
position and size. Then a chicken wire mesh is fitted around the rebar using
small welds or wire. Sphagnum moss is filled inside the structure. Plants are
then lodged in the sphagnum.
To plant a topiary, a gardener can use any kind of plant
such as vines, succulents or coleus. We used small metal poles about one foot
long with a sharp end and poked holes into the sphagnum moss. In the open hole,
we used a small cutting of whatever desired plant pushed into the hole. Our
Lion topiary has several different plants used throughout. The mane is a
mixture of purple trailing verbena and purple heart. The body is planted with
Maintenance on topiaries is fairly easy if you keep up with
it daily or weekly. The structure needs watering each day. Throughout the
growing season, a trim may be required. Or if vines were used, hair clips to pin
in place all new growth. Liquid fertilizer is best to lessen burns to plants.
Monthly fertilizer is desired.
See how many of the topiaries you can find throughout the
zoo. Send us pictures of you and your family with a topiary. Enjoy your visit
to the Memphis Zoo.