MY PHILOSOPHY: "I believe that the appeal of topiary lies in its interactive and approachable nature. In nurturing a ‘living' sculpture whose appearance changes in humorous, whimsical and sometimes mysterious ways, a bond develops between the caretaker and their ‘pet'. I enjoy promoting these relationships."
As a Stanford University student working part-time at a retail nursery, Jeff Brees became familiar with wire and moss hanging baskets and topiary in 1976. After college, Jeff apprenticed with his great-aunt, Charla Ilgner, an accomplished jeweler, silversmith and art teacher. Charla had begun fashioning wire topiary for Jeff's parents who had recently acquired a nursery specializing in container gardening. After a two year partnership with Charla, he decided to start his own business.
Garden Menagerie took flight in 1984 with a modest price list of 35 frame designs ranging from table-top size to life-size deer. The use of metal accents distinguished many of the designs and continues to this day. The business name changed to Gardenworks in 1987. Over the years, frames have increased in size and complexity since custom and commercial projects fill a significant portion of the work schedule.
Gardenworks is a small creative operation offering high quality topiary frames for residential and commercial gardens. Current projects range from art pieces to large-scale animals and insects but still include his smaller long-time favorites: goose, quail and piglet. All work is done to order and no inventory exists.