For those that consider themselves sophisticated designfolk, topiaries may seem the stuff of Edward Scissorhands suburbia or the artistic outlets of a housewife with hedge shears. But consider this – these carefully crafted plant forms are an eco-friendly alternative to promotional billboards or waste-making flyers, and can add to the environment rather than take away from it. If you’re in the market for some seriously impressive shrubbery, there’s no better man for the job than Topiary Joe.
Joe started out building birds and fish for garden centers, and has since created animated figures of a dazzling variety of shapes and sizes: crocodiles, elephants, flamingos, growing archways, living walls, and green signs. Some of the topiary frames stand alone as metal sculptures: some are simply stuffed with moss, and others are creatively dressed, like a Big Bird made of old fishing nets. Although the materials and methods Joe uses are incredibly varied, his masterpieces all share a living sense of whimsy that just can’t be found in a billboard.
The average topiary takes about 6 months to grow in and really become its leafy-sculpted self. They are planted with varieties such as Boxwood, Azalea, Yew, and Privet, depending on the local climate of the sculpture. Whether the end result is a dancing hippo or a giant growing archway, the pieces are part sculpture, part garden, and pure craft. In addition to his eco-conscious art, Joe is also known to encourage a kind of “reuse” by offering work in exchange for used classic sports cars which he enjoys refurbishing to working condition. Since its definitely more eco to keep an old car on the road than buy a new one, this offers a whole new level of “green” for the garden!