Can you be-leaf it? Realistic animals sculpted out of plants go on display in China


Colourful: Experts have created realistic-looking elephants out of plants

The Chelsea Flower Show may be over for another year, but green thumbs in search of weird and wonderful garden art need only look to China for inspiration.

A series of animal-shaped plant sculptures have proved immensely popular with visitors to the International Horticultural Exposition in Xian, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

The exhibits include one of China's national animals, the Red-crowned crane, sharing a tree with a monkey.

Looking trim: The giant panda, one of China's national animals, also features

Another national animal, the iconic giant panda, is seen nursing a baby panda.

The topiarists have also crafted a cow and a herd of elephants, one with its trunk raised, in a field of flowers.

To achieve the unique living sculptures, the specialists must regularly clip the foliage and twigs of trees and shrubs to train them to grow in the right direction to form the decorative shapes.

The exposition opened in April and runs for around six months. It is expected to attract around 12 million visitors to Xi’an, one of the most important cities in Chinese history and renowned as the location of the terracotta warriors.

Living sculptures: The exhibition - including this cow - has proved hugely popular with visitors

Impressive: The animal sculptures will continue to grow while on display

The 2011 Chelsea Flower Show, which was held in May, also had its share of strange exhibits, including the Korean Hae-woo-so garden and its feature toilet.

Diarmuid Gavin’s gold medal-winning Irish Sky Garden featured classic English plants suspended in the air in a large pink pod, while the Thailand Garden featured its own exotic animals made entirely of flowers, including an elephant and Guardian Lion.

Another elephant - this one made out of flowers - featured at the Chelsea Flower Show

source: dailymail


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