When Cambridge housewife Maria Desimone wowed her green-fingered dad with a monster marrow she grew on her first attempt, she had no idea it would still be turning heads five years later.
But after her colossal 7ft effort was featured in the News, before making it into the national press, the mother-of-two decided to preserve it for eternity.
She had to clear space in her King's Hedges garage for a year while she let it dry out, and now displays it proudly on the wall in her garden room.
The 48-year-old told the News: "So many people wanted to see it I knew I had to keep it, and it took roughly a year to dry out.
"We stored it in the shed after that to look after it, but it did start to go a little mouldy, because of the English climate.
"Then earlier this year I gave my husband the task of varnishing it, and he did a great job. We scrubbed it, which has brought out the natural patches of the garden itself.
"I think it looks beautiful, and after he varnished it I was blown away."
Once her husband Tony set about with the varnish, the monster marrow could withstand all the British weather could throw at it, leaving it with a glossy protective finish.
The vast vegetable is now hung on the wall above the sofa in her garden shed, where she likes to sit to admire her garden.
She said: "To me it's fascinating; I don't like snakes but it looks like a scary, horrible snake. If you were in the dark somewhere it would definitely give you a fright, but it always makes me feel better when I see it."
She grew the supreme-sized salad fodder on her first attempt, in a bid to impress her father Benito, who always grew veg in his allotment at the house.
He hasn't yet been to see his daughter's pride and joy, but she is keen to show it off next time he comes to town.
She said: "Five years ago I was having some difficulty getting started, so I asked him what I was doing wrong, and he told me I hadn't pollinated it. But once I did that it just kept growing.