Come Early

I am well aware there have been a conspicuous absence of posts the past few days.  The week running up to our holiday open house is an intense work experience that starts early in the day, and ends late.  Not that I mind this.  The past fews days have been unseasonably warm, so we have had spectacular fog at dawn.  The umpteen numbers of glass icicles we hung in the lindens are a frost white at 5:30 am-it was worth been up this early to see them. I like a project that has a deadline.  This is in sharp contrast to that garden which is always changing, and hopefully evolving. 

Bunches and more bunches of stick stacks of various twig arrived last week. Cardinal red twig, yellow twig, and black twig dogwood in three heights comes to us from a stick farm. Copper willow, fan willow, pussy willow-the salix family and its hybrids have beautiful twigs.  I would not mind farming sticks one bit. Coppicing twigs is a very old art; twigs are judiciously harvested, leaving the plant to grow new twigs. They provide lustrous, linear and colorful interest in winter containers. 

The yellow twig is an especially striking yellow green color.  In mass, they have a graceful and rhythmic appearance that belies their strength.  They will still look great come next April, when most else is the garden is still dressed in winter drab.  We do strap our twigs to a bamboo or metal pole that is sunk deep into the container.  A stick stack out of vertical is not a good look.  
That said, these wire containers of red twig listing by design is exciting visually.  A composition fueled by confidence and deliberation means the rules do not necessarily rule.  The gardening world’s most prominent rule breaker-nature. Snow in early June, the datura in ground that survives the winter, the hen who raises an abandoned kitten-there are lots of examples.    

I am an early person by nature.  I like time, peace and quiet to get ready for the day.  I am not a day dreamer-I am a dawn dreamer.  The prospect of completely redoing the display in the shop puts me to work very early; this is no different than in the spring.  In spring I am thinking about making things grow.  This time of year is about making something of what I have.     

Fog has a way of saying hush hush.  Saturated colors are subdued.  The wet quiet is muffles sound.  The sharp edges of everything are blurred. No telling where this observation might take me once I take it inside. Creating an atmosphere in the absence of weather-difficult. Arranging an interior space-I admire people who do this well.  They take a series of objects and create an atmosphere in which everything lives well together.  A person who can generate atmosphere- no doubt you know a sun maker, a rain maker, a trouble maker.  A well designed landscape is poised to wear the weather well.   

The fog has me thinking about how to soften the sticks-with picks, and preserved and dyed eucalyptus. As much as I like the masses of one color, what would happen if I mixed the sticks?  Maybe three colors.   

This is the last early morning before our holiday open house weekend.  My list is not nearly as long as it has been, but it’s long enough to get me going first thing.     
We are almost ready.