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Fish Topiaries

Immerse further into Topiary Takeover! The twenty topiaries inspired by UNESCO Natural Heritage Sites are paired with additional content to further guest enjoyment and accessibility. Use the four green links below to be taken directly to the additional content:

Audio Tour: Listen to Conservatory staff poetically describe the topiary displays, as well as the surrounding plantings. The audio sets the scene and provides context and plant information for each display.

Written Description: Read a written transcript of the audio tours to learn more about each display. The description provides context and plant information.

Image Gallery: View images of the topiary displays. The gallery shows the displays as a whole as well as the details that make each one special.

Playlist: Listen to the music that plays with each display, highlighting various cultures and connections to the UNESCO sites.

Audio Tour

Conservatory staff read a description of the tropical fish, seahorses, and jellyfish topiaries swimming through the Great Barrier Reef display. 

Written Description

Read a written version of the audio tour that describes the tropical fish, seahorses, and jellyfish topiaries and Great Barrier Reef-inspired plantings.

Imagine you are scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. No longer are you exploring the gardens of the Conservatory, as this courtyard’s mix of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and tropical plants create the feeling of being underwater! Coral, seaweed and even water are being mimicked through the plants’ height, color, texture, and the shape of the leaves.

You continue scuba diving as 6 large, colorful topiary fish, with meticulously trimmed alternanthera, portulaca, lysimachia and sedum are swimming past. The finely textured plants create distinct striping patterns on a Regal Angelfish, blue cheeked butterflyfish, and two clownfish. A Foxface rabbitfish has unique features such as a long snout and mouth and spiny dorsal fin. Narrow pointy sempervivum leaves and colorful portulaca plants create vibrant scales of an Anthias fish.

Next, you spy five, foot-tall seahorses, planted with the rich colors of sempervivum and alternanthera. Then floating by in the distance are 3 Jellyfish, with their bell created from rose-shaped lavender-pink succulents and tentacles made of green string of arrows.

The movement of water is created through the fine blade foliage of ornamental alliums and stipa grass. Clumps of seaweed are created with sansevieria. Brightly colored corals and anemones are sunpatiens and celosia. 

Image Gallery

View the tropical fish, seahorses & jellyfish topiaries, the entire Great Barrier Reef-inspired scene and detail shots of the plant life.


As the indigenous communities of Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a continuing connection to their country and its natural resources, including the Great Barrier Reef. Their ongoing culture of music includes their more traditional music played with instruments like the didgeridoo, to more contemporary music inspired by their indigenous backgrounds and experiences.

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