Disney Green Thumbs Behind Festival’s Blooms

Mickey Mouse Topiary Preps for Festival

A lot of mulch, sweat and shears have gone into the 21st annual Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV.

For the past year, a team of 400 gardeners, horticulturists and landscape architects has been keeping their green thumbs busy preparing for this 75-day festival. From designing displays and scheduling expert presenters to caring for the 500,000 plants, trees and shrubs, this dedicated team ensures visitors to Epcot leave entertained and inspired.

Perennial favorites of the festival, all of the nearly 100 whimsical topiaries start as a wire frame. Cast Members bring these creations to life using some 25 different plants including fichus, palm fiber and multi-colored mosses that grow from within. Each topiary is meticulously trimmed at least once a week throughout the festival to maintain its shape.

“Topiaries are always one the most anticipated elements of the festival,” said Eric Darden, the horticulture manager who oversees the Epcot event. “Everyone involved with the festival understands the important role of topiaries and takes great pride in making sure they closely resemble our beloved characters.”

Nearly 30 million blooms blanket the park during the festival, including:

  • 700 container gardens of flowers, herbs, plants and vegetables,
  • 225 floating mini-gardens and
  • approximately 70,000 bedding plants in Future World alone.

Have you visited the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival? Let us know your favorite part of the festival in the comments below!

Photo credit: Disney

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Kimberly's love of Disney began at an early age and grew even more when her family won a Walt Disney World vacation from a local radio station. She grew up visiting the parks every one to two years and is fascinated by Disney history and trivia. Whether at the parks or at home, Kimberly is constantly looking for hidden Mickeys. She enjoys sharing tips and helping others plan their Disney vacations. In addition to Frontierland Station, she can also be found writing for Park World Travel and selecting music for Park World Radio.

Latest posts by Kimberly (see all)

  • Maureen Litz- Diehl-Brown

    My first visit to the F&GF was in May of 2012- It immediately became my favorite time to visit. All those vibrant flowers and plants just inspire happiness and big smiles! I can’t wait to visit again. I loved your article!

    • I’ve never had a chance to visit the festival, but I plan on it sometime. My parents will be visiting during the festival this year. I can’t wait to see all their pictures of Epcot!

  • We’ve only ever visited twice at the tail end of May – the festival is already over, but we get to see what’s left of the amazing topiaries (which I just love). I hope to actually get there DURING the festival some year.

    • I haven’t been to the festival either, but I hope to go someday! The flowers and topiaries are so beautiful!

      • I agree! And with the addition of the food kiosks, and with all the neat gardening events going on, it just seems like it would be a ton of fun. Maybe we should plan a Magical Blogorail Reunion trip during the Festival sometime!

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