Garden of laughs takes top spot in competition

Last updated 10:55 31/01/2013

Garden humour: Shannon's Helen and Don McPherson in their garden voted most humorous and quirky.

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Horowhenua Mail

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Don and Helen McPherson share a quirky sense of humour which is proudly illustrated in their home garden.

Their garden has been named the most humorous garden in Shannon's Best Kept Street and Garden Competition.

Organised by the town's Progressive Association, the competition had 13 categories, with Stout St resident Paul Mabey winning the best overall garden and Whittaker St named the best street.

Don admits he is not a "real gardener".

"I mow the lawns once a week and if I have to weed, I'll weed," he said.

"Your garden is what you want it to be.

"For us, it's to have something different."

Placed throughout the McPhersons' half-acre property is an eclectic mix of signs, ornaments and garden art - much of it made by Don from recycled materials.

"I'll come home some days and Don tells me to come and see what he's made and I'll think, 'oh no, what could it be now?'," said Helen.

"Although, I am a real Doctor Who fan, so hopefully one day I'll find a tardis in the backyard."

In the meantime though there are features such as a shop mannequin dressed in a g-string and placed on a treadmill, a tail-light cover from a car turned upside to resemble the face of an alien, a leaf-vacuum hanging from a dead tree, a flowerpot man, a toilet labelled "the bog of eternal stench", hubcaps hanging from trees, and hats on fenceposts.

Don reveals his next project is a ride-on lawnmower made from a push-reel hand mower and a bicycle.

"I like to think outside the square," he said.

"Life is too short to be serious and stress, worrying about problems, when you can just sit back and have a laugh. A sense of humour - you've got to have one."

Other winners in the competition were: Best home frontage: Paul Mabey. Best vegetable garden: Nancy Pullen. Best developing garden: Mike and Yvonne Ryan. Best backyard: Graham Dawson. Most eco friendly: Eunice and Dennis Hannah. Outstanding landscaping: Dean and Lea File. Garden "done with love": the Allen family. Best commercial frontage: The Olde Plum Duff Tearooms. Best backyard minigolf course: Dietlinde Geist and Michael Hook. Best developing potential: Barbara Kempster.

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- Horowhenua Mail

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