Monday, 25 May 2009

Hackney's stately homes

Topiary is not the exclusive preserve of the upper classes. Here in a Hackney street whose one claim to fame is to have been the location of a recent Mike Leigh box office success, at least two of our terraced houses (described, I discovered recently, by local estate agents as "semi-detached" because pairs are not linked by a party wall) sport magnificant topiary privet hedges. The more impressive of the two has transformed its cat stalking two peacocks into a stag by allowing the privet ears to grow into leafy antlers. Less narrative credibility, but definitely more aspirational, though the feline tail is hardly convincing.

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