Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cutting support trees

Post: Bernie: May 19, 2011
Note: To follow The Gathered Hedge from beginning to end, choose Introduction from the index at right.

Cutting the cedar trees was more of a chore than I thought it would be.


They are much larger up close than from my normal view sitting on the terrace (with a Guinness in my hand).



Cutting by hand using a bow saw (I really dislike power tools, but really how did the colonials clear all this land) was very hard and slow (they put the kids to work). But after two days I had five trees (these all were Cedars that had been blown over by the wind too, so it was fitting that they get a new life too, and I had been meaning to do something with them for a long time) cut.




Joey and I then (so where are the kids when you need them) hauled them out of the woods and up to the Hedge.




NEXT: Digging the holes and setting the Cedars [READ NEXT HEDGE POST]

Hedge raising: Testing added supports

Post: Bernie: May 7, 2011
Note: To follow The Gathered Hedge from beginning to end, choose Introduction from the index at right.

Yesterday Joey and I tested the support part one of the support solution.

Part One: 3/4" Rebar

We drove the Rebar up the electrical conduit. We suppose it did break the twine that goes through the drill holes in the conduit (good thing Joey thought of this before we bought ten foot Rebar, the whole Hedge could have slipped down each conduit pipe as the threads were broken) but only up three feet (there are two feet in the ground). So we thought this was a safe risk.



It was a little hard getting the Rebar up the kinked conduit but with a lot of banging it finally worked.

Part Two: Support Trees

In discussing this with Eric and Sonja (of Bee Keeping fame) we all came to the conclusion that the Rebar may not be enough support. Adding poles was discussed then Eric said Cedar posts would hold up the best. Then it progressed (after some refreshments) to using the fallen Cedar trees in the Wood behind the house and staggering them along the Hedge for extra support. I loved this idea because it still used gathered materials and I get to clear some trees and set them to a purpose (in Post-Set cement:). And I really loved the creative aspect that the trees offer that store bought posts do not - we can leave the dead branches on and have them penetrate the Hedge so they stick through to the other side. Joey and I think this will be very cool.

Next: Cutting Support Trees [READ NEXT HEDGE POST]

Hedge raising: Off the ground

Post: Bernie: April 12, 2011
Note: To follow The Gathered Hedge from beginning to end, choose Introduction from the index at right.

It is now mid April and the Hedge has fully reemerged out from under the snow and we are ready to begin with the Hedge raising work.

We want to raise it up so it can dry.



I thought it best to pull the poles out of the sleeves...
...so we could stretch out the Hedge.


The poles were soft enough to bend by kneeling on.
Something we should have seen coming in a strong wind.



Almost up.

Now with some more drying we can test the rest of our Hedge raising plan.

We used our extension ladder as a platform supported by saw horses and a garbage can.

Remember I said  I thought it best to pull out the poles and straighten them...

Well we had another visit from our partner the wind that night and the Hedge was actually blown over, flipped over, almost landing in the road. Sorry we didn't get a shot of that...

But it is now weighted with cement blocks.
We used bungee cords to attach them to the poles.

Let our partner the wind try to move that!

We plan to test the next component in the Hedge raising plan soon. The Hedge raising party is taking shape too. We have a lot of volunteers that said they would come and help. If all goes well with the "added support" idea we hope to have the raising party in early May.

But then there is the wind...

Next: Hedge raising, testing added supports [READ]

Winter joins in

Post: Bernie: March 6, 2011
Note: To follow The Gathered Hedge from beginning to end, choose Introduction from the index at right.

Winter 2010-2011

The Hedge upon our return on January 2, 2011.

Our neighbor told us it was the 60 mile per hour wind gusts.

January 3, 2011


South view.
The electrical conduit poles bent right over at the sleeve.

In our Getting Started post of The Gathered Hedge and 'Change-Process Art' we stated that, "...The concept was to build the hedge framework and then weave in gathered fabric and natural materials both living and gone-by that would over time be changed by the elements..."

Change has come and we intend to meet it with a process of our own.

Come Spring after The Hedge has slept and aged under a couple of feet of snow and ice for three or four months Joey and I will engage in the process of rebirth. For there is no end to the process of life or creativity. It is unending cycle of birth, life and rebirth, for there is no death, only transformation.

South view.
West view.
North view.

It will be Spring after all.

Reemergence.
West view March 6, 2011.
Time for the rebirth of the the things of the earth and of the sky... and of The Hedge.

Next: Hedge raising, off the ground (READ NEXT HEDGE POST)

Into the wind

Post: Bernie: March 6, 2011
Note: To follow The Gathered Hedge from beginning to end, choose Introduction from the index at right.

Autumn 2010:

When you are open to change you really need to be prepared for anything. Twists and curves that you didn't anticipate. Especially when the site is high on wide open a windy hill.

One day we came out to find that the wind had added a bend, dip and curve to the Hedge.

North view.
West view.
South view.
North west view.
 




Anything can happen now with the winter and snow and more wind coming. That is all part of the process we have opened up.

Next: Winter joins in [READ NEXT HEDGE POST]

The weaving begins

Post: Bernie: February 15, 2011
Note: To follow The Gathered Hedge from beginning to end, choose Introduction from the index at right.

Summer 2010:

Well where do you begin? Well we started at the bottom but would eventually start working all over the framework and from both sides simultaneously. Joey has this great spool of endless twine, tough stuff, that we used to sew the strips of fabric together and into place. Tough on out fingers too!  We were betting of course that the natural growth would start a weave of it's own and hold together what we were doing, long before the twine would rot. The objective after was to create a work that is constantly in the process of change.

The first layer of weaving is completed.




As we built up the weave rows we began to see relationships of color, texture and light.




We even created a window in the hedge using a screen panel from an old tent.



The fabric weave was really taking shape now and began to explore using the vines we had as another weaving material.



We saw the solidity and the transparency of the fabrics and began to work with those qualities.










The Gathered Hedge in the Autumn of 2010.

Now it is time for our partner the sun, rain, wind and other natural elements to become a full participates in this process of creation.

Next: Into the wind [READ NEXT HEDGE POST]