Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Circus Trees

My family recently visited Gilroy Gardens, a combination family theme park and botanical garden in Gilroy, California.

Here is the entrance to the park:

A far cry from this:

(not that I am knocking Legoland  - I am sure it is fantastic and we are huge benefactors of Legos!)

I don't know what it is about the west coast, but look at the crazy trees inside Gilroy Gardens!   They look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book...

The back story of these so-called "Circus Trees"?  In the 1920's, Axel Erlandson saw the natural grafting of two Sycamore trees.  His first major project fused four Sycamore saplings into a cupola that he named the "Four-Legged Giant".  Over the years he created all different shaped trees through grafting, and even bought land and to create a "Tree Circus" in order to showcase these unusual trees.  After his death in 1974, more than 70 spectacular trees were left with no one to care for them, and they began to die.  In 1984, Michael Bonfante bought the trees for Gilroy Gardens. There are about 20 trees on display in the park nestled against the back drop of spectacular gardens.

All photos below courtesy of Gilroy Gardens:  

Here are some close cropped imitations!

All natural unusual looking trees:

Have you seen any crazy landscaping lately?!?

Thank you to everyone that entered our DaniNotes giveaway this week!  Our winner (selected by True Random Number Service) is Bryn.  Please contact us to claim your prize! 

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