Retired shipbuilder’s topiary talent delights for decades

May 15, 2020 IBB

John Bemis keeps his train looking sharp. During the growing season, Bemis spends about four hours with trim and clean-up every 10 days to keep his topiary train in tip-top shape. 

YOU CAN’T MISS John and Annette Bemis’ house. Theirs is the one with the hedge neatly shaped into a 150-foot multi-car train that stretches around the corner lot. It’s a Canby, Oregon, landmark John Bemis planted and has grown, sculpted and tended since 1978.

“When we purchased our home, my first thought was that the corner was perfect for a train, so I planted one,” Bemis says. “It took three years before it was big enough to trim, but over the years, my train has caught the eyes of many people.”

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