In our series #MySanDiego, we’re uncovering the hidden places and lesser-known gems in our beautiful region. Your photos, videos and selfies are pouring in. Keep the posts coming and tune in to 10News weekdays 4:30-7 a.m. to see a hidden gem every morning.
SAN DIEGO – Welcome to the Harpers’ Topiary Garden in Mission Hills.
To understand what's behind the elephants, orcas, giraffes and Buddhas on Union Street just off Interstate 5, you have to get to know the people behind them.
It’s been 53 years of marriage for Edna and Alex Harper, but no children. But as the Harpers put it, these patriotic characters in their Topiary Garden might as well be their kids.
The Harpers moved into the home in 1969.
"About 20 years ago, I got tired of looking at the plants and all their lumps,” Edna told 10News this week. “I sat across the street and looked at them and they were born."
"I didn't think it could be done, and I told Edna I didn't think it could be done," Alex chimed in.
Edna, the master artist, turned her garden into her canvass. For two decades, five-days-a week, Pedro has been by Edna's side, clipping, trimming and bringing to life her artistic visions.
The Topiary gets rock star attention.
"I meet neighbors and they say, ‘oh where do you live?’” Edna said. “And I say, ‘I own the Topiary Garden. They go, ‘Oh, I love it!’”
"It's fun watching them work, I just pay the bills," Alex said.