When my friend Eve’s beloved cherry tree finally drew its last breath, and its gnarly old limbs were cut up, she kindly asked me if I would like to keep a piece of it. At first I said no, as I didn’t have any real idea of what I would do with it. (Which is a rather odd response, because I’m a shameless hoarder, and I don’t usually let a lack of ideas stop me.) But after a few days of stewing on her offer, I saw another impulse acquisition that had yet to find its use, and suddenly, the two merged in my head.
I had found this circular metal object at a fun little store in our neighborhood called ReClaim It! I had no idea what it was, but I felt I needed to have it – for something. Just not sure what, yet. I brought it home, and it laid there for a few months. Finally, it spoke to me. I had toyed with the idea of using it as a planter, but had always thought it would look cooler turned on its side. If only I could figure out what to do with it – and how. And now I realized that the perfect thing to float in this shiny frame was a piece of Eve’s beautiful, old tree. I took her up on her offer, and chose a piece with an intersection of two branches, laden with licorice ferns.
What you see in the photo is a mockup of how I want it. I still need to figure out exactly how to secure it. For now, I’m using an upside down flower pot to elevate the wood. I want to plant more licorice ferns (Polypodium glycyrrhiza) around the base, but am not yet sure how to keep the log in place. I’d rather not have the pot be visible, but I might have to leave it there. That log is heavy, and needs something sturdy to rest on. The frame itself is rather flimsy, which adds to the challenge. My best beloved came outside when I was out there playing around with it. He laughed, and told me that my deep and shiny circle is a cover for a spare tire – probably from something like a 1980’s van. It’s a good thing he’s a patient man! He has had to put up with my endless junk hauling and garden experimentation for years, poor dear.
Hope you are all staying home and staying well. These are such very strange times, and I really don’t know what to expect from the year ahead. I spent the first half of the day sewing masks, most of which we’re sending to a hospital in a hotspot city – likely NY – if we can only get them done before their crisis subsides. If not, we’ll send them to the next one. We set up a family assembly line. The masks take a while to make, and we’re making quite a few of them. They are made from furnace filters (not the fiberglass variety), and have a metal clip over the nose so that you can shape them for a snug fit. The removable filter part fits into a soft cotton sleeve, which can be washed. They are of course no substitute for a real medical grade mask, but everything right now is on the premise of “better than nothing”. And, odd as it may sound, putting some effort into something like that is invigorating. It gives you the reassuring illusion of being able to do something about the virus – even if it’s just an illusion. Anyway, after five hours, I had to take a break from sewing and go outside and do something else, like finish some half-done projects. More of the same tomorrow, I imagine.