Sticks and Stones

Yesterday, my husband brought the fence-guy over to the Agape Haus to give us a bid for a fence. Toby, my husband, gave Pedro the grand and glorious tour around the gardens and the chicken coop. Toby told him all about the artistic vision I had, and where I’d like put up the deer-proof fence. Pedro just looked around and finally spoke a few words in his broken English, that were straight to the point.

“Oh……No. No. Too much.”

Too much? What’s too much? The gardens? The cost? The fence? I couldn’t believe it. I rarely receive the blunt answer “No” when it comes to my artistic garden plans. I mean, heck….I bought a drug house and tote it down to save a tree, and somehow convinced the bank to give me a mortgage on a house that wouldn’t exist. So seriously? No fence from Pedro, who does amazing fence work???? I guess that’s just the way it was. The Agape Haus and all it’s garden-gloriousness is way too too artistically curved for a professional straight-fenced kind of guy like Pedro. He didn’t want the job, so today I took matters into my own hands. I started gathering sticks in between violin lessons, instead of the usual daily ritual of moving random stones around the property, creating garden paths.

I’m a firm believer in using natural materials whenever possible. In fact, I collect sticks. It’s hard to throw them away. First of all,, sticks are kind of beautiful in their own way.. Second of all, I constantly think that one day I migh need those sticks to build something. When I cut branches, I trim the sticks, dry them and save them for a rainy day. I have a many piles of sticks in the potting shed. Yesterday, I dragged a pile of long sticks over to the cute, little antique fencing that stands a mere 3 feet. The fence is so low and cute that deer babies can simply put one hoof over and crawl right over the fence. The massive amounts of deer pellets are evidence that the deer spend all evening feasting on my heirloom bulbs and flowers..

Last year, I bought some wonderful old-fashioned Christmas twine that has a hint of red twine woven within. The twine is a perfect amount of “whimsy with purpose”. I had tried some blue yarn a few days ago, but it was completely obnoxious. If Tammy Faye Baker’s make-up was a fencing project, that’s what it would look like…..completely over the top. I took the old-fashioned twine, two long sticks and made an X with the sticks. The top of the X is a lot smaller than the base. I proceeded to twine pairs of sticks together, and then placed the stick pairs on top of the fence. I had also collected (salvaged) old, 8-10 foot cedar fence posts, so I am using the post to anchor the fence project. I have about half of one side completed. I will go back through at some point and wire it together to add a bit more sturdiness. I really like it. It has a natural appeal to me. I especially like the price…

Pedro’s fence would’ve been wonderful, but this stick project is all me. Projects like this are not perfect, but there’s charm in the handmade solution….atleast that is what I tell myself after I’m bleeding from a few cuts from the sticks. My poor hands!!!

This sun is beginning to come up. I’m enjoying a nice cup of Earl Grey tea and a beautiful Bach Violin Sonata as I write. Our area received a beautiful rainfall last night, just like Sandy rumored it would. This morning, I am going to walk over to the studio to check out the gardens, and cross my fingers that the deer left my poor lilies alone. It’s going to be a beautiful day.

Happy Gardening, my friends!