October 26 2014 Latest news:
By Chris Bishop
Friday, May 23, 2014
There’s topiary - and there’s over the top-iary. Pensioner John Brooker has carved his privet hedge into a 100ft dragon.
The giant fairy tale beast, which has six legs, huge wings and a mouthful of formiddable teeth, has made walkers do a double take in the Norfolk countryside.
Topiary buffs sometimes trim their hedges into geographic shapes, like circles or cones, or animals and birds.
Once retired fan maker Mr Brooker, 75, got his hedge clippers out, the project took on a life of its own.
“The shape just suggested itself,” he said. “It was just a completely-straight privet hedge to start with.
“Then I thought I’d carve some arches in the other end, then a head and it just came from there.”
Mr Brooker started working on the hedge in the grounds of Frizzleton Farm at Bagthorpe, near East Rudham, in 2004.
He wonders whether far-eastern tours during his army days helped lodge the idea in his subconscious. His wife Pippa, a former graphic designer, helped with the design.
“I’ve taken it very steadily,” he said. “I’ve very slowly got it to where it is now.”