Carver’s gar­den is tree-men­dous

Man’s work is draw­ing crowds to his home – yet he only took up his hobby three years ago

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - DEREK HEALEY dhealey@the­courier.co.uk

A mav­er­ick Dundee wood carver has trans­formed his gar­den into a lo­cal tourist spot with an ar­ray of colour­ful crea­tures and char­ac­ters.

Christo­pher Bow­man, 49, took up the craft less than three years ago but his work is al­ready draw­ing the crowds to his Gle­nea­gles Av­enue home.

Mr Bow­man, who lives at the prop­erty with his part­ner Elaine Walker, 41, cre­ates the pieces by us­ing a chain­saw to block out shapes from logs donated by friends in the forestry in­dus­try.

He then nar­rows in on the finer de­tails us­ing a grinder and chisel be­fore fi­nally smooth­ing them down with sand­pa­per and ap­ply­ing a coat of paint.

Al­though the cre­ations have proven a hit with pass­ing mo­torists, Mr Bow­man re­vealed his neigh­bours – and his fam­ily – took a bit longer to warm to the idea.

He said: “My fam­ily love them now but they weren’t too keen at first.

“I think neigh­bours weren’t sure ei­ther when I started putting them up but I think they’ve changed their minds now – at least, I haven’t had any com­plaints.

“When­ever I put up one of the new ones, I see folk slow­ing down in their cars to get a bet­ter look – and some­times I see them sneak­ing round again to have an­other glance.”

Mr Bow­man took up the hobby af­ter buy­ing a chain­saw while camp­ing and now sells the work. He even has peo­ple knock­ing on his door to re­quest spe­cial com­mis­sions.

Neigh­bours David and Amy Muir said the carv­ings had be­come a hit with young­sters.

“I think they’re great,” Mr Muir said. “They might not be ev­ery­one’s cup of tea but the kids def­i­nitely seem to like them.

“We can see them bet­ter from our bed­room win­dow. It’s al­most like he’s built a lit­tle vil­lage out the back there.”

An­other res­i­dent said her daugh­ter had com­mis­sioned Mr Bow­man to carve a large tor­toise as a Christ­mas gift and was de­lighted with the re­sults.

“Who wouldn’t love them?” she said. “I think they’re fab­u­lous.”

With the Christ­mas sea­son fast ap­proach­ing, Mr Bow­man now plans to dec­o­rate the gar­den with fairy lights and or­na­ments to turn it into a true wood carv­ing win­ter won­der­land.

I think neigh­bours weren’t sure ei­ther when I started putting them up but I think they’ve changed their minds now – at least, I haven’t had any com­plaints

Some of Christo­pher Bow­man’s cre­ations in his Gle­nea­gles Av­enue gar­den. Above: three chip­munks and right: wood­land an­i­mals.

Clock­wise from top: Christo­pher with his bear cre­ation; a va­ri­ety of wildlife in a tree and a Scotty dog along­side Oor Wul­lie.

Pic­tures: Mhairi Ed­wards.

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