From Oasis and Blue Peter to top TV topiary

Steve Manning and his topiary figures have appeared in the Aviva national ad''Pictured: Steve and Jackie Manning
Steve Manning and his topiary figures have appeared in the Aviva national ad''Pictured: Steve and Jackie Manning
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HE has been on stage with Oasis, in the Blue Peter garden, at the Smithsonian in America – and roaming the fields in Pakenham.

Now topiary by Pakenham artist Steve Manning is being featured in a television campaign by insurance company Aviva.

It was back in the late 1990s while making parts for stage sets that Mr Manning was asked if he could make a topiary frame.

That quickly spiralled into a Royal Horticultural Society stand at the NEC and from the resultant business Topiary Art Designs was born.

Now his work, including topiary alligators, a 10ft spider, elephants and the pied piper of Pakenham leading a group of children, can be seen in a field at his company in Pakenham.

Over the years Mr Manning has made topiary models for a stage set for rock band Oasis and the Smithsonian in Washington DC, a herd of elephants for Hyde Park, and cats for the Blue Peter garden.

He has won numerous awards and clearly enjoys his work.

“I love the idea that some of the trees will be there for hundreds of years and will continue to be enjoyed long after,” said Steve, who is 52.

Now he is featuring among nine of the UK’s most enthusiastic home renovators for the advert which is being aired on the UKTV Home channel.

“It is always nice to be recognised for your talent, I’m honoured,” said Steve.

You can see his work at www.topiaryartdesigns.com

See the advert at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgRojAOeDLU