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Topiary Testudo and Veteran’s Memorial Flag Court

 

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The pedestrian plaza East of Benjamin Hall and South of Cole Student Activity Center along Campus Drive is home to two landmarks, Topiary Testudo and the Veteran’s Memorial Flag Court. Every day, thousands of UM campus community members pass through this pocket park, with its criss-crossing sidewalks, on their way from parking lots to work, classes, and other activities; and every year, thousands of campus visitors pose here to have their pictures taken. The plaza was designed by architecture students working with UM’s Facilities Planning Department.

 

Topiary Testudo is a frame topiary created by Tennessee artist Joe Kyte, also known as “Topiary Joe,” and it measures 12 feet long, 5 feet wide and 3 feet 6 inches tall. Kyte has refined the art of topiary, traditionally creating sculptures with clipped shrubbery and vines, by adding a metal frame through which the plants grow. His sculptures are featured at many famous landscapes, including Legoland, Disney World, and SeaWorld. Topiary Testudo is a gift from the Class of 2004 which took two years to raise $12,000 for the sculpture and commission an artist for the work.

 

Topiary Testudo sits on a raised circular mound in the center of a circular sidewalk. The sculptural shell is made of sheared boxwood growing through the metal frame and the head is

 

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June 14
10:00am
Volunteer sessions at Chesapeake Natives Garden
June 15
08:00-08.45am Walk at Peace and Friendship Garden