Love the layover: topiary tales

Topiary bear greets travelers at San Jose International Airport

Topiary Bear welcomes travelers at San Jose International Airport

Even though the San Jose International Airport has a high-tech, still-new terminal, a favorite sight at the entrance to the airport is this low-tech topiary character.

Topiary is the art of training or pruning plant material into new and often fantastic designs and the folks at the Smithsonian Institution’s Collection Blog have put together a nice round-up of gardens featuring topiary designs.

Included is Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Billed as “the oldest and most northern topiary garden in the United States,” the garden has more than 80 pieces of topiary, including animals and birds, geometric figures and ornamental designs sculpted from California privet, yew, and English boxwood.