The Blaze topiary is a large dragon-shaped planted frame in the UAB Campus Green depicting the UAB Blazers "Blaze" mascot. It first appeared in 2013 after removal of a Blaze statue in front of Bartow Arena.
The original topiary consists of a sculpted frame filled with peat moss, covered with a vinyl membrane, and planted with fig vine (Ficus pumila). The plantings survived well for more than a year, but suffered from the cumulative effects of summer drought and winter freezes, as well as an infestation of roly polys (Armadillidium vulgare). That topiary was removed and replaced in July 2017 with a replica incorporating an internal irrigation system to protect from drought.
The original frame, meanwhile, was restored and planted with a different vine, English ivy (Hedera helix) which survives cold winters better. UAB plans to rotate the two Blaze topiaries between the outdoor display and the UAB greenhouse in the Spring and Fall.
- "Blaze topiary to get new life and a winter home" (May 24, 2017) UAB Reporter