Fun with gardens

I do enjoy the British sense of the whimsical. An English householder has charmed her neighborhood by carving her hedge into the semblance of a whale.

The enormous sculpture, with its big smile and flicked-out tail, has proved a big hit in the seaside town of Whitstable, Kent.

Its creator, Nicki Leggatt, 59, a senior lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, said she decided to transform the hedge outside her detached home when she first moved to the area.

She said: ‘It was just a huge overgrown privet hedge when I first moved here in 2003.

‘In my first year here, I cut it into a rough shape by hand and then I bought some electric trimmers and I’ve been cutting it ever since.’

The marine sculpture has attracted plenty of attention and has become a popular attraction for parents and children.

‘Loads and loads of people have noticed it and bring their kids down to have a look at him which is just lovely,’ she said.

‘I normally cut it in the summer – I’m growing the end of the tail which is why it looks a bit messy at the moment.

‘I feel like I have a duty to maintain it now.’

For Christmas this year, she put an oversized Father Christmas hat on his head for a bit of festive fun, but it was stolen – twice.

She found the hat in a nearby road after the first incident, but after replacing it, another thief made off with it.

‘I don’t really mind, it’s quite funny in a way,’ she said.

‘But it is strange that some people feel a need to ruin things that are started for other people’s enjoyment.’

Never mind the idiots, Ms. Leggatt – the rest of us enjoy it!


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