Stillwater News Press

OSU Update

May 5, 2011

Oklahoma State University installs cowboy boot topiary at Theta Pond

STILLWATER, Okla. — Just in time for the university’s spring commencement ceremonies this weekend, Oklahoma State University landscapers have installed a boot-shaped topiary at the southwest corner of Theta Pond.

The topiary is more than 7 feet tall and is a combination of six plants that create the textures and designs of a cowboy boot and spur. The boot is branded with an orange O. The orange color comes from bronze colored Hens and Chicks.

“The purpose of the topiary is to create excitement about changes in the campus landscape program and to showcase the talent of our grounds and landscape staff,” said Steve Dobbs, OSU’s grounds and landscape manager.

William Hilson, landscape technology specialist, designed and planned the logistics of the boot. He generated the frame size and specifications, welded, sandblasted, coated and painted the frame, and installed the drip irrigation, soil and sphagnum moss. Groundskeepers Kim Ward and Deanna Shatswell planted the plants within the structure.

“The hardest part of the project was figuring out where to start,” said Shatswell.

The plan took about six months to complete, and Hilson said he is pleased with the final product.

“It has character and details I had only hoped to be able to accomplish,” he said.

“I hope this is something that will show up in lots of group and graduation photos, as well as become an icon-like item that strikes the remembrances of campus life and the positive influence and impact the university has had in each of their lives,” he said.

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