City of Greenwood horticulturists are moving the menagerie of living plant sculptures into their respective places Uptown for viewing. They will be displayed through July 12. Social distancing is encouraged.
Typically, these plant works of art are a main attraction during the South Carolina Festival of Flowers in June. The main weekend for that festival, June 5-7 has been canceled this year, amid novel coronavirus pandemic concerns. However, topiaries may still be enjoyed.
More than 40 topiaries in all will be displayed throughout the Uptown square, at the main branch of the Greenwood County Library and at the Uptown Market. Each topiary is adopted by an organization and each is sponsored by a local business. Often, groups adopting the plant sculptures also help get them ready for display.
“We work on these all year long,” horticulturist Karla Coffey said. “We just hope people will come and see them and we want people to be safe while doing so. Hopefully, people will get out of their houses and walk around and remember why we love Greenwood.”
Coffey said topiaries moving from city greenhouses to their respective Uptown locations is happening on schedule.
“It figures, when calamity strikes and we are expecting less crowds, that’s when everything goes very smoothly,” Coffey said. “This year, the jellyfish will be coming back out.”
But, there’s a chance that the swans and the over-sized camera might not be displayed this year.
“Every year, the topiaries have different plants on them,” Coffey said. “This year, the turtles almost have a checkerboard pattern.” Coffey said some of her favorite blooming things are not always in the topiaries, such as a small patch of silver-blue ornamental grass — Elijah Blue fescue — in a landscaped bed.
Horticulturist Clint Price said the topiaries avoided “hiccups” this year such as fungus or insects, but a great number of overcast days have delayed plants becoming full.
“Within the last two weeks, things have started,” Price said. “We’re not officially out of the woods yet, but we will see what happens. Hopefully, we will have them all out by May 29.”