Monday, March 26, 2012

Fun with prunings

Like an upside down basket

I have a lot of fruit trees for someone who is not a commercial orchardist. So I have lots of nice, flexible water sprouts or suckers every year. Sometimes I make arrows, sometimes I make bentwood sculptures. This year, I made a little play hut for the kids. It wasn't only water sprouts, but also fallen Japanese cedar boughs and lots and lots of split kudzu and wisteria vines.
The cedar boughs form the basic skeleton of the hut. I stabbed them into the ground just a few centimeters in a rough circle. The tips all meet at the top. Then I lashed them together with some kudzu vine that I split into fourths. I took a small cedar bough to make the arch for the door.
Splitting kudzu is easy to do. Just find a nice long piece, and smash the end with a rock until it is frayed. You can then pick it apart and split it in half. I grasp each split half between my thumb and forefinger, and move my hands like I am opening a book. As it splits, sometimes one side gets thinner than the other. Then just pull harder on the fat side, and the split will come back to center.
I lashed a few more cedar boughs around the structure's middle, and then wove kudzu randomly all in and out of the structural members and kudzu. Finally, I took a bunch of water sprouts I pruned from my trees and wove them in and out around the structure. All told, it took about an hour, including gathering the materials. Of course, I spread that hour over 2 weeks.

And as I final touch, I planted pea seeds all around it. In a few weeks they should climb up and cover it. That's the plan anyway.

Not big enough for camping, but plenty big for fun!

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