Sunday 27th October 2019 marked one year since the helicopter accident that claimed the lives of the late Leicester City Chairman (Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha), staff members Kaveporn Punpare and Nusara Suknamai, and pilots Eric Swaffer and Izabela Lechowicz outside King Power Stadium.
We were asked to produce three topiary sculptures for the memorial garden built on the crash site – one fox, one elephant and one horse.
The fox was chosen as the club logo is a fox and it was covered in ligustrum. The elephant was chosen to give a nod to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha's Thai heritage and that, as well as the prancing horse, was covered in star jasmine.
The club hosted a private multi-faith ceremony on 27th October 2019, at the garden, exactly one year after the helicopter crash that killed Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and 4 others.
We worked flat out to produce and deliver all the animals so that they could be planted before opening day.
After the opening day, the present CEO requested for the elephant’s pose to be changed. We happily accepted the elephant back at our workshop for alteration. We adapted the elephant’s head to be facing upwards, so that it had a more lively appearance.
Leicester City Chief Executive Susan Whelan said about the garden: “…something peaceful, something poignant and something beautiful, where supporters of today and of future generations can remember what one man’s vision did for this Club, this community.
“The Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Garden will be the latest in a series of lasting tributes that will form part of Khun Vichai’s legacy.”
If we can help you with some topiary sculptures please do get in touch!
The word ‘topiary’ is derived from the Latin word topiarius; meaning ‘landscape gardener’.
Topiary is the horticultural art of clipping and training shrubs or trees into ornamental shapes and sculptures. The resulting topiary shape can be as exotic and elaborate as desired; ranging from animal shapes and figures to a well trimmed hedge.
There are many different styles of topiary, each favoured by different regions of the world and at different times of history.
The most notable gardens, mazes and sculptures are discussed below.
This style of topiary became popular during the Italian Renaissance and influenced French gardens after the invasion of Italy by Charles VIII. Beautifully ornate, clipped hedges (often using Buxus Sempervirens, or Box) are laid out in symmetrical patterns, usually on a large scale. Gravel paths are often placed between the hedges with statues and plants in pots among them. As time went on the designs became more and more elaborate with colorful plants and flowers added for interest.
First established in England during the reign of Elizabeth I, these gardens again follow very formal designs with low hedges cut in criss-cross patterns literally resembling knots. Traditionally the hedges would be made from aromatic plants and culinary herbs. Today the hedges may be fashioned from Box (or similar) with gravel paths and aromatic plants and herbs in between. In this case they may be more accurately called Parterres.
In gardening terms, a maze is constructed from tall, clipped hedging and offers a branching puzzle to walk through with choices of path and direction. A labyrinth offers a single, non-branching path. The goal in each case is to reach the centre of the garden. Pleasure gardens with mazes and labyrinths evolved from the Parterre and Knot gardens of Renaissance Europe. The oldest surviving example in England was built for King William III in the late 17th century at Hampton Court Palace.
Topiary sculptures are a more modern development and most often consist of standard, geometric shapes like pyramids and spirals; however, the resurgence of topiary became a unique way to represent animals and figures, with its use in special displays such as at theme parks, festivals and promotional events across the globe. The shapes can be made by trimming a bushy shrub or tree down, or, by using a wire frame which can either be stuffed with moss or used as a pruning guide to grow plants around it.
The Lady Gaga shoe was commissioned to launch a week-long event of floral and fashion themed festivities. This two metre high stiletto was positioned in St Christopher’s Place in London, just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street.
The design was based on a pair of similarly formed denim stiletto shoes purchased by Lady Gaga from Lungta de Fancy in St Christopher’s Place. The local traders wanted to commemorate the celebrity visit, and what better way than through the art of topiary!
St Christopher’s Place wanted the shoe covered in living plants and we used fast-growing Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides), which offers the added bonus of seasonal, fragrant white flowers.
It took just a week to create this piece from scratch. The success of the project inspired St Christopher’s Place to commission another shoe from Agrumi, but this time covered in twinkly LED lights.