Use the story of the Sleeping Beauty for subject matter. Paint pictures of a fantastic castle surrounded by an impenetrable hedge.
Remind pupils of the film Edward Scissorhands. Ask them to design a magic deserted garden, surrounded on all sides by a hedge sculpted by a ghostly gardener into the fantastic surreal figures who once frequented it. See hedges turned into figures, buildings and animals at: www.topiaryartdesigns.com
Each pupil can take a close-up digital photograph of a selected metre-square section of flowering hedge at two-weekly intervals throughout the year. This record of changes can be preserved in sketchbooks; use as a basis for a simple animated film in which the hedge seems to grow and change.
Study the works of Graham Sutherland, who turns twisting and thorny imagery derived from roots and undergrowth into symbolic religious pictures.
Students can produce their own drawings and paintings of hedges to reflect these qualities. See Sutherland's Thorn Tree (1945) at: www.leicestergalleries.com