People Keep Trying to Have Sex With This Hedge

A salaciously trimmed bush has proven too tempting for the local men.

By Susannah Cohen

This might be why you don’t often see topiaries shaped like people. (Photo:  Annie Spratt )

This might be why you don’t often see topiaries shaped like people. (Photo: Annie Spratt)

Throughout history, people have been having sex in nature — a practice that was surprisingly popular among American Puritans. Having sex with nature, though? Not so much.

But when a keen British gardener named Keith Tyssen shaped the bush in front of his house to look like a reclining woman, his creation proved impossible to resist. He now finds himself woken up at all hours of the night by drunken passers-by attempting to mount the green goddess outside of his Sheffield home.

"They're climbing on top of her and pulling her legs apart — you know, it's disgusting,” Tyssen told the BBC. In fact, the spectacles he’s repeatedly witnessed have left him feeling “a bit sick, really.”

"I just peered out at about 4:30 a.m. in the morning and there was a guy on top of her, going through the motions of having sex with her,” he said. “That's just not the way to behave in lots of ways."

Tyssen, an artist and silversmith who studied at the Royal College of Art in London in the ‘60s, has been sculpting this particular hedge for 40 years. He originally shaped it into a Greek god, and turned it into its current incarnation of a reclining woman in 2000. He said he took inspiration from a 16th century gold sculpture by Benvenuto Cellini called the Saliera. At the time, he did not expect the so-called “privet lady” to become a victim of her own appeal, and he’s since had to repair her regularly.

He’s contemplating putting up a sign, or even an alarm, to deter would-be Romeos from inflicting further damage on the precious female topiary. Still, if her scratchy leaves and branches haven’t deterred them thus far, it’s unlikely that a sign saying “Please do not have sex with this hedge” will do the trick either.

Click here to see photos of Tyssen’s “green lady.”


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