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Man Spends 13 Years Turning Boring Hedge into a 150-Foot-Long Dragon

One day, 13 years ago, when retired fan maker John Brooker realized that his hedge was way too boring, he decided to do something about it. Since then, he has been sculpting it into a wonderful, mystical creature – a gigantic 150-foot long, 20-foot tall dragon, complete with a massive pair of wings and six sets of legs.

The dragon topiary – with its bulging eyes, flaring nostrils and crested back – is truly one-of-a-kind. Mr. Brooker, now 75, said: “I was standing at my kitchen sink one day and thought the hedge was boring so decided to do something with it. I think the dragon came from my days in the Army. I did two tours in Malaysia so the dragon must have been in my subconscious.”

Photo © Damien Mcfadden

Mr. Brooker completed the dragon hedge with the help of his wife, Pippa, who used to be a graphic designer. “My wife is the gardener, I just cut the lawn and do the hedge,” he said. “She was pleased as though she had something interesting to look at.”

Although the dragon is Mrs. Brooker’s design, you have to hand it to Mr. Brooker for his fantastic carving skills. “I was always told by my maths teacher that I had a good eye for drawing a curve. There is a sense of what is right when your hand moves. Very rarely have I cut out something I wanted to keep,” he said.

Photo © Damien Mcfadden

“I’ve added wings and the top was quite plain but every year I add another couple of lines for definition.” Now that the dragon is complete, he spends about three days every fortnight in maintaining the design, trimming it back into shape. He goes through four electric hedge trimmers and uses a 6-foot ladder during the process, which he compares to painting the Forth Bridge.

Photo © Damien Mcfadden

“The farmer here is horrified when he sees me perched on top of the ladders,” Mr. Brooker joked. His spectacular dragon hedge is located by the sidewalk, alongside his rented farm cottage in East Rudham in Norfolk, where it always  attracts people’s attention; passers-by are generally awestruck by the massive green dragon just sitting there by the side of the street.

Photos: Damien Mcfadden

Source: BBC

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