This is our 5th year of opening for the National Garden Scheme, we had to be asked 7 years in succession before we finally gave in and agreed to open for them, because we didn’t think the garden was ready or good enough. Obviously weeding is going on all the time to get ready for the opening but this post is about preparing my woodcarvings that are in the garden, so that they are fit to be seen by the paying public.
I have been carving now for about 25 yrs and when we moved here decided to teach it to adults at night school to earn some regular money to make the garden here.Most of my carvings show my love of wildlife but also my faith is represented by some abstract shapes. There was no real garden 21 yrs ago, just wall to wall grass, so I had to start carving shapes out of the grass to make the borders.
The ravages of winter take their toll, some carvings, if we can’t see them from the house, get covered to protect them from the frost, snow and rain, but the ones that are left open to the elements always need some repair work doing.
Even though this one gets covered, it has still managed to split and have a hole where a knot used to be – definitely in need of attention.
This one is always in the worst condition as it is just outside the kitchen window, so never gets covered. Lots of work to do here.
Not much needs to be done on this one, just a new coat of preservative I think.
Another in need of a lot of attention as it doesn’t get covered,
worst bit is at the bottom.
Just a good wash and brush up, then a coat of preservative needed here.
And the same again.
Repairing cracks and holes with plastic wood.
The base of this one was sitting in all the snow that we had over the winter – even though the carving was covered, I hadn’t realised the base was at risk from rotting – we don’t usually have snow here!
Sanding down everywhere plastic wood has been applied
A good scrub needed everywhere, especially where the birds have been sitting !! Have to do this again the morning we open.
And finally everything gets a new coat of preservative.
This shape represents the Holy Trinity, there are 3 flame shapes in one.
This one is Genesis ch 1 v 6-10 and represents the creation. The world is spinning in the universe, the hole is the void which represents heaven, and then the wave is God putting the water on the earth.
This is the gate I carved for the entrance to the pond area, grandchildren have to be kept safe. This is a cross section of the pond with all it’s wildlife.
I carved this just after my mother died, she came to live with us for her last 2 yrs when she had dementia. Her maiden name was Moon, therefore she was a Moon baby. The wagging finger was always there when she was telling me what to do, even when I was over 60 !!
This small plaque was done to cover the vent in the wall that the previous people had for their tumble dryer. Birds were nesting in it, didn’t want them coming through to my washing machine!
I think the owl with his pile of books will have to come indoors in the winter in future – there was so much restoration work to do this time – all sorts of creepy crawly wildlife had been living between the books and eating them !!! This carving was done as an exercise in lettering and is a pile of gardening books with famous gardens or gardeners as their titles. There is every letter of the alphabet here, so after doing this I felt able to teach lettering to my students.
I hope you agree that they all look a lot better for being spruced up. I forgot to mention that we are open in 2 weeks time – 11th and 12th June -I feel we are running out of time!
Do you feel that art has a place in the garden (obviously I think it does, but it would be interesting to hear other gardeners opinions ) do you think it enhances the planting or detracts from it ?