Topical topiary in St Albans front garden

Saqlain Shah was inspired by his daughter to create cartoon character shaped topiary outside his house

Saqlain Shah was inspired by his daughter to create cartoon character shaped topiary outside his house

Archant

A man on a mission to tidy his front garden has transformed it into a fairground of familiar faces.

Saqlain Shah, 47, of Wilshere Avenue, St Albans, was stuck about what to do with the overgrown bushes in his front garden.

A year later, he has turned them into some of his children’s favourite characters using only materials from around the house, taking topiary to a new level.

Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc, Spongebob and Angry Birds are just some of the cartoon favourites to make an appearance in his front garden, and he’s not stopping there.

He said: “I started to make shapes out of them and then my daughter said ‘why don’t you make characters?’, so I did.

“I’m planning on making a huge Indian elephant, and get it as close to life size as possible, but unfortunately this will be in my back garden.”

Saqlain has experienced an influx of attention as a result of his colourful garden, and people return time and time again.

He added: “I get lots of people passing by who stop to take pictures. We live near Marlborough School so we often get pupils who come down and take pictures on their phone.

“Every so often I get this little child in his pushchair with his mum who comes to visit.

“Every time I walk out and see people visiting it makes me smile. I often sit at the window to see what people’s reactions are, it makes me feel really nice.”

Saqlain has bought extra tools to help him sculpt the bushes, but apart from that everything he uses is recycled.

He said: “The last one we made was an ‘angry bird’ and we made his eyeballs from tennis balls going rusty in the shed.”

For now, Saqlain says he will continue to reinvent his garden with the help of his 13-year-old daughter Nehah.

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