I usually write about the art of the garden, but here is a bit of art in the garden. The above photos are of a woven willow structure currently under construction at the McKee Botanical Garden in Vero Beach, Florida. This piece of environmental art is nestled in a grove of palms and constructed of willow saplings and bendable twigs woven together to form a temporary structure. The structure will eventually have three willow towers. Here is a close up of the twig structure:
And here is an overall view:
The artist is Patrick Dougherty and the concept is STICKWORK, here is a link to more information on the artist and installation, http://www.mckeegarden.org/current-exhibition.php
I am usually not very enthralled with environmental art, but I love this. The organic willow towers complement the formality of the palms and I like the facts that the structure is built from willows grown in a sustainable tree farm and after a few years the structure will be evaluated to decide to keep it or compost it. I have visions of the entire thing rooting into the ground and growing a twisted fairy tale castle in the palm grove.
The rest of the garden has a bit of a fairy tale feel as well. Conceived by pioneer developers in South Florida during the first half of the twentieth century – the first buildings were based on Polynesian structures in keeping with the “Jungle” theme. The garden fell into disrepair and was reborn in the early 2000’s shepherded by a dedicated group of garden enthusiasts. Below is one of the original buildings, a great hall centered around a table constructed from a 38 foot long single piece of Mahogany:
The rest of McKee is well worth touring and has a wealth of tropical plants. I saw many types of Bromeliads I had never seen before and an array of Palms, Orchids and tropical trees. The garden began in a mature forest hammock and boasts some incredible native trees and a pathway meandering through the garden inviting you to stop and study the flora. Here are some of my favorite photos from my trek through the garden.
I saw Stickworks in Philadelphia at the end of the summer. The tropicals are beautiful and that table is incredible.
Going to McKee soon with class…can hardly wait to see. There is a similar willow structure at the UNC Bot. Garden in Chapel Hill NC.
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You’ll love it! think the willows will root? Some of it looked like Niobe Willow to me.
I have seen plenty of willow sculpture but I have never seen anything quite like those towers before. What fun.
I agree, really interesting and built mostly by volunteers