— observations from the Blue Mountains Design Bureau —

A topiary tale

I have to admit I am a big fan of topiary. Jeff Koon’s ‘Puppy’ installation outside the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney in 1996 may have been the start of this obsession. Tim Burton’s surreal topiary gardens in his 2001 movie ‘Edward Scissorhands’ probably also fueled my developing passion.

I think though, it is the ‘kitsch’ factor on a grand scale that is the real appeal! Something we Australians do so well; The Big Pineapple in Nambour, The Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, The Big Prawn in Ballina, to name but a few. No town on Australia’s ‘tourist’ trail in the 70’s was complete without a BIG something!

So I was truly delighted when my husband recently brought to my attention the Blue Mountain’s very own BIG TOPIARY PHALLUS! A perfect synergy of kitsch and just plain wrong, yet so strangely apt for a tourist hot spot that is renown for its impressively large natural wonders! Is this the result of a bored council gardener with a sense of humour or just nature doing it’s thing?

Do I tell you where this natural wonder is? I think not – but I will give you some hints…It is quite large; It is sited in one of the Blue Mountains many beautiful public parks; It is near the entry to a well known bush walk; It turns a lovely coppery shade in Spring; and it is next to a kids playground – of course !?!


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