Hi everyone, I’m Debbie Mola Mickler from Disney Horticulture. In about a week, (March 3rd) the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will be opening. And there’s no better way for us plant lovers to spend the day than at Epcot during the festival. Now in its 17th year, this festival will have more topiary, container gardens and flower beds filled with color than ever.
Backstage at the Walt Disney World Nursery things are moving, or should I say growing, quickly. Topiary, one of the main stars of the show, is getting their final touches in preparation of making their move to Epcot. With so many new plant varieties available to the horticulture industry our Disney topiary are really “coming to life.”
So, how do we create signature Walt Disney World topiary? To produce one of our sphagnum topiary it takes a lot of imagination and a few good horticulturists to put it all together. It all starts with a Disney Imagineer who designs a maquette figure. From there, a skilled welder forms the frame, an irrigation specialist adds watering mechanisms and then our Gardeners will stuff and plant the frame. This whole process can take several weeks and depending on the plant material it may take a while to grow, filling out the frame. To make the topiary appear more life-like we create faces or embellishments from dried mosses, palm fibers and even seeds.
We are asked quite often, “How can I create topiary at home?” There are many great online resources available to purchase the pre-made topiary frames, just type in “sphagnum topiary” to any search engine. You even can buy them pre-stuffed with sphagnum moss; just water and add some plants. These online topiary frames are not as big as our 14 foot tall Goofy, but if you know a good welder anything is possible.