Noah’s Bark: Artist’s amazing animal sculptures


These incredible pictures show a ‘Noah’s Bark’ of animals created by a topiary artist – including a life-size herd of ELEPHANTS.

Steve Manning, 51, spends up to three years crafting each piece and then sells his works of art for as much as £6,000.

His most impressive creations include a herd of elephants but he has also made giraffes, hippos, lions, cows, wolves and a Harry Potter style wizard.

Steve’s latest work, which was commissioned for Prince Charles, is a matching set of four huge topiary pigs crowding around their mother.

Former engineer Steve, who runs Topiary Art Designs wife Jackie, 45, in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, revealed people are ”amazed” when they see his topiaries.

He said: ”People are very impressed when they see the pieces, we get lots of people peering over the gate of the field where we work to get a closer look.

”The most expensive thing is our time and expertise, each process takes so long and it is important to get every stage right.

”For the topiary, it takes a good three years before we can get the sculpture to the point where we can sell it on and then it needs yearly maintenance to keep in shape.

”We work very well as a team, my wife Jackie is a real do-er and does the majority of the cladding, while I craft the huge metal frames.

”There are a few secret techniques we’ve come up with over the years and they are what makes our work so special, some of it is the most detailed in the world.”

Steve, who began working as a topiary artist 11 years ago in a four-acre field behind his home, uses stainless steel frames to create the shape of the animals.

The bespoke frames, which cost from £550, are then filled with any plant or shrub that will shape or replica boxwood and left to grow.

For the first year the growing sculptures, filled with yew, box or a collection of different plants, must be regularly trimmed and take three years to take shape.

Steve also uses 25cm blocks of replica plastic ‘boxwood’ to create designs in less time but the technique is far more difficult.

Steve’s ‘pigs’ piece will go on display at Clarence House, London for 12 days as part of ‘A Garden Party with a Difference’, a sustainable living event held by Prince Charles.



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