It was with a hint of Spring in the air that the Harpswell Garden Club met on Saint Patrick’s Day. Our speaker, Susan Perrine of Woolwich, is a fiber artist who has branched out to using twigs for rustic garden structures.Susan’s garden sculptures were on display in the Children’s Garden at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens for a period of time, following her summer as “Artist in Residence.”
Susan’s delightful presentation included advice on tools and materials, plus hints on selecting appropriate “twigs.” She uses freshly cut saplings or branches about an inch or so in diameter and up to 8 feet in length. The fresh twigs are more flexible for weaving together into fences, trellises, or even huts. Birch is a good material, while poplar tends to break. Fixtures help hold the branches together as she works; bungee cords assist in holding the structures together, until a deftly-driven screw can be inserted, and twine can be woven around the juncture of the twigs. (An aside: mice like leather cords, so use other types of twine!)
Susan’s finished tripod offers inspiration to those of us who want to add some rustic elements to our gardens.