Landrum hedges take on new shape

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, August 26, 2014

by Claire Sachse
Last week, motorists along Hwy. 176 going into Landrum may have noticed the hedges at David Simpson’s house have been trimmed and shaped.
Many are familiar with the boxwood hearts, which later morphed into heart-shaped butterflies and angels. Simpson has recently added an eagle, Jesus on the cross and a trailer pulling a boat. The boat, Simpson said, will transform in coming months into a battleship.
“I just woke up one day, and I saw something in the bush. I cut it, messed it up, started again, and then it started taking shape,” said Simpson, 63, about how he began styling the first heart into the row of boxwoods along his road frontage seven years ago.
“When I get an idea, like for the train, I have to put it in my head for a day or two. Keep it in my mind. Then I go out there and cut it out,” said Simpson.
Keeping his shearing equipment in good condition is a constant struggle, said Simpson. He uses gas powered hedge clippers, battery operated shears and old fashioned hand clippers.
He said he would like to be able to purchase a special folding ladder for the tall projects he has planned for the hedges along the border of his property. He said he has “visions about making horses, rearing up with their manes flowing back.” He also said that he would like to carve the World Trade Center towers, and he is thinking about how to complete the details of all the building’s windows.
“Landrum ain’t seen nothing yet,” said Simpson, about his visions for transforming the side hedges.
“But for now, I’m doing what I can do,” said Simpson about the hedges at the front of his property, which are at a manageable height.
“I don’t rush myself,” said Simpson. “It takes time.” The hedges in front take at least three days to complete.
Raised in the house at 603 N. Howard St., Simpson said that he believed his grandmother planted all the boxwoods around his property. He estimates them to be at least 40 years old. He said he enjoys people stopping to admire the shapes and take photographs, but asked that they pull into his driveway to prevent blocking traffic.

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