They "Sculpt" Plants Into Animals

"We can't make them fast enough," says Todd Nelson of Bountiful Farms, Woodburn, Oregon, about his company's plant sculptures that they groom and sell, already alive and growing.

More than 30 plant sculptures are available. They're made out of hardy arborvitae and junipers and shipped in pine boxes to garden centers and wholesalers who retail to the public. The plants thrive on fertilizer and water and should be sheared twice a year.

"Many of our employees are basket weavers, so they have a lot of artistic ability," says Nelson. "Some customers buy them to draw attention to their businesses. One client put a big giraffe outside his store that could be seen from the road; others want to spell out their store name."

Plant sculptures include bear, deer, elephants, giraffes, fish, cactus, sunflowers, penguins, gazelles, horses, and many more. "The sunflower, cactus, and deer seem to be the most popular forms," says Nelson. The company does custom requests, but says they've learned that they can't do anything that requires a lot of detail. "We've successfully done horses and riders, and even whole families for people," says Nelson.