About the Artist

Hi, I’m Michelle Masters and this is my studio, located on our farm in the Fingerlakes region of central New York. I grew up in a small town outside of Jackson, MS and earned degrees in fine art and graphic design. These two locations, my family, and my education have influenced my artwork as well as my gardening throughout the years. I feel very fortunate to have these rich areas in my life from which to draw.
Michelle Masters Topiary Art began in 2000 with an idea that became a series of watercolor topiary hats- one of the designs "Lady Lavender" becoming part of my business identity. My artwork centers around the formality of classical topiary but with an infusion of whimsy and lightness... perhaps something new to the eye that hasn't been seen or grown before. Finding my creative niche was a result of combining all of the things that I loved- gardening, plants, animals and painting. It’s an amazing gift to see my work bring delight to others. There is truly nothing like it.

In 2005 I found my “tribe” at The Philadephia Flower Show and The Newport Flower Show where I was able to share my work with a large audience of plant-minded people like me. It’s been very rewarding to connect with enthusiasts who appreciate my simple design aesthetic and enjoy the whimsical nature of my illustrations. I cherish the connections that I have made over gardening, family, pets and the shared fancy of topiary. It’s topiary art, but so much more.

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Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration all around me. If I’m thumbing through a magazine and see a piece of furniture in a cool shape, it will immediately bring to mind a dog breed that might go with it perfectly in a garden setting.

Years ago I was reading “Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett and had thoughts of knights, castles and medieval architecture running through my mind. We had recently purchased my sweet Onyx – a draft cross horse and this design appeared. My son recommended a carrot as a lance for this jousting bunny. So much fun and still a customer favorite.

As far as artistic inspiration, I love the work of Sara Midda, Beatrix Potter, Norman Thelwell and Holly Hobbie's "Toot & Puddle" series! "The Artist's Way" by Julian Cameron was fundamental in finding my artistic voice.

Do you grow live topiary?

Yes, I do! Currently I tend to Maurice and Geraldine (the ducks) and Rocco the Rooster who all began as tiny unclipped boxwood from a local nursery.

I would love to have a whole menagerie - giraffes in a fruit orchard and sheep grazing on the lawn are on my “to plant” list.

I grow rosemary topiaries in the Potager and have grown numerous tabletop topiaries over the years with varied success including; myrtle, euynomous, lavender, cypress and rosemary.

Do you have a retail store?

Not at this time. I sell online and personally at shows. The Philadelphia Flower Show and the Newport Flower Show are on my list for 2024!

The Hedges & Hares gypsy wagon farmstand is a fanciful little outlet for fresh produce, clearance items and other fun goodies throughout the summer.

What's the deal with the gypsy wagon?

Great question! You'll have to click here to find out. ; )

"I have a garden of my own... Shining flowers of every hue, I loved it dearly while alone, But I shall love it more with you." Thomas More, 1835