Looking for another low impact gardening chore after the remainder of the hellebore foliage was removed, something that would spare my back from yet more bending over, the pile of chamaecyparis twigs was spied waiting to be transformed into fairy furniture. See the post dated January 30, 2008, Fairy Gazebo, filed under projects. It had been decided that the most urgent piece of furniture the fairies would need was a bench. Garden benches are very easy to construct, Faire Garden has cranked out loads of benches at three different locations. A little more engineering knowledge has been gained with each one built. That knowledge could be put to good use in giving the wee folk a place to sit, room for two or three if they are on the slim side. Wanting to use no glue or nails, a binding material was searched for and found. The criteria were long, thin, strong and easily accessible. Stopping to do a little weeding while wandering through the garden, I spied growing out of its boundary of cinder blocks stacked three high, the perfect lashing, vinca major. This is a monster ground cover although the periwinkle blue flower in spring is enchanting. It is planted at the corner where the pine trees meet the arborvitae. There are evergreen trees, chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Crippsii’, the one survivor of three, one blue atlas cedar, and two arizona cypresses, bounded by arborvitae on two sides, a row of rosemary on one side and the block on the fourth side. Swimming around the bottom of this planting is the vinca major. It tries to escape the area by growing under the block, up the trees and onto the path. Large woody cuttings and pulled clumps of weeds that are not wanted in the compost pile are thrown in this area. Pine needles rain down nearly all year there. This has resulted in an endless supply of the vinca. I could weave a tent that would cover the whole house with the amount of vinca growing there and still have lots leftover. In other words, the criteria were met for the furniture building material. The legs were cut from twigs, two short for the front, two long for the back. The vine did a satisfactory job of not breaking while being tied and knotted to hold the sticks together. A piece of wood with three side branches was used for the back. Loose twigs were laid across the tied sides for a seat. The final touch was a hellebore leaf as a cushion. The texture of the leaf was leathery, hence, the fairy leather seated bench. Voila!
It really was another delightful day, close to sixty degree temps, bright sunshine, gentle breezes, birds singing, bees buzzing, gardening. Life is good. The difficult to photograph white primrose is blooming.
The compost pile is nearly filled with the hellebore leaves. The number of these plants growing in Faire Garden has increased beyond comprehension, especially realized when the leaves are being cut one at a time, bending in a sit on your heels position. Ouch.
Still trying to get some better bird shots, this one was taken from inside, through the window. The birds seem to know I am out there and refuse to cooperate when it is picture time. As the spring time climate becomes more agreeable to just sit and wait, with the tripod at the proper position and the camera poised to catch the dining feathered friends, the portraits will improve.
Ready to wait,