Event brings spring to Sussex with flowers, shrubs and good advice Most visitors to the New Jersey State Fair are used to seeing farm animals at the Sussex County Fairgrounds, but some new animals have taken up residence in the new Springfest Conservatory including a swan, a seal, a dolphin, donkeys, rabbits and even a dinosaur. Requiring only water and occasional pruning, these low-maintenance animals are actually topiaries made with ivy and creeping fig. The Topiary Zoo will be on display at this year’s Springfest Flower & Garden Show from March 12 to 15. The topiaries along with specimens of camellia, lantana and summer flowering perennials and shrubs are a gift from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. They once graced the world-renowned Duke Gardens in Somerset. Doris Duke, heiress of her father’s American Tobacco Company at age 12, was one of the wealthiest women in the nation. She created a series of display gardens under glass depicting the garden styles of different cultures throughout history and the world. The gardens attracted 40,000 to 50,000 visitors a year. Recently, the gardens were removed by the Foundation that administers her estate to make way for a new mission directed toward environmental stewardship. The plants, needing a new home, were gifted to non-profits throughout the state, including public gardens and educational institutions. Springfest and the Fairgrounds, operated by the non-profit NJ State Fair/Sussex County Farm & Horse Show are recipients and stewards of the Duke legacy and will use the perennials and hardy shrubs throughout the grounds to enhance the year-round beauty. The topiary animals will live out the rest of their lives in the new, sun-drenched Springfest Conservatory, donated by Springfest friends Bev and Bruce Gordon, and will enhance the space for weddings and events of all kinds. Find out more For more information about Springfest call 973-948-9448 Or: visit springfestgardenshow.org To use the Fairgrounds for an event call 973-948-5500 Or: visit newjerseystatefair.org.