The Polly Hill Arboretum offered a workshop in building garden structures yesterday and I signed up. It was run by Janice Shields who operates in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. I arrived a little before 9:00 am with my drill and my loppers and my hammer.
Janice shared her story of how this work found her. It is a wonderful marriage of her artistic talent and the reclamation she does on land that is being cleared for housing. She makes that pesky bittersweet in the backyard sing with poetic whimsy on her trellises and furniture.
The 14 of us in the workshop were taught how to construct both a tepee type structure or a straight up piece. I was looking to build something for peas to grow on, so I chose the tepee style.
We worked in teams and helped each other hold down the wood as we built the basic structure. Then once that was done, the process of decorating began. The wood sort of speaks to the other wood about where it ought to go on the structure. You lay it on the surface and feel where it wants to rest. When I got home I went through c some old driftwood I had in the shed and added a piece to the top of my structure.
Now that I know how easy this is to do I may build some tomato cages out of old poplar we have been cutting down.