Q: When is a Russian Blue not blue?
A: When it’s green!
Today’s post is about the ultimate in green-thumb tributes to our feline friends. A recently departed Russian Blue cat has been turned ever green by the stunning work of his artist owner.
Now an internet sensation known as “The Topiary Cat”, these images have generated millions of views on social media. It all began when cat lover Richard Saunders from Hertfordshire, England, published a series of topiary-style images as a tribute to his beloved cat Tolly, who died earlier this year.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Giant topiary cats will turn you green with envy!” quote=”Giant topiary cats will turn you green with envy!”]
These larger than life images are so incredibly impressive that the question immediately arose, .. just how did Mr. Saunders actually create these ornamental shrubs of his beloved feline?
Let’s first start with a brief overview of topiary – according to landscaping expert David Beaulieu, shrub topiary entails the pruning (shearing) of live shrubs into decorative shapes, like animals. It is considered an art form. Not only is the art form, itself called by this name, but the result of such pruning is also known as a “shrub topiary.”
The artist’s work is simplified by a structure called a “topiary frame.” This frame is installed in such a way that, as the shrub grows, it fills in the topiary frame. Branches that breech this framework and stick out too far are simply pruned off. English boxwood is a type of bush commonly used to make certain kinds of shrub topiaries, due to its amenability to pruning, its evergreen foliage, its rounded growth habit, and its slow growth rate.
So how were these creations developed? Instead of pruning English boxwood, Saunders instead used Photoshop!
He was quoted telling the BBC that although he tries to make it clear the images are Photo-shopped, some people still believe they’re real topiaries. “I try to correct people, but sometimes they don’t want to know and want to keep believing they’re real,” he said, “so don’t go looking for these, guys. You will not find them.”