Well, it was challenging to finish varnishing these benches with all of the rain, and then even more rain prevented us from getting them in the garden! But, today, we finally cleared spaces for them in the forest garden, and now they are part bench-part garden art. I love them!
My bench is a tribute to David's "You Are Here" sign which has become Spring Bird's motto, and it's never been more true than in a garden.
Penelope's bench is a beach bench because she loves water, sand, and sun and hopes to live on an island some day. For now, she found the sunniest place in the garden for her bench. She painted me and her playing volleyball on the seat.
Abe's bench is a tree. He loves trees. green, natural wood, and gold. His bench is under the mulberry tree.
While we weeded in the garden, the bunnies took turns grazing in the grass and the mama ducks and five ducklings spent their first extended time outside, too! The forest garden was a busy bee today!!!
This Summer is swimming along! It feels like more than ever, we are hopping from project to project, task to task, trying to keep up with the weather, which we check at least a dozen times a day. Depending on the forecast, we decide when to weed, when to mortar a wall, when to work in the studio, when to groom bunnies etc. It's a strange feeling to be moored to weather--such a fickle thing, and the persistent and heavy storms are more worrisome than cozy. We are thinking about how to combat the torrents--more rain barrels? rain gardens? I believe it is going to be more and more difficult to prevent our gardens from being washed away in Spring and early Summer.
But when the sun shines, we are outside doing something. Pat and the kids repaired a brick retaining wall earlier this month. The good thing was that we discovered that there is a cement retaining wall behind the brick! (Thanks Torkel!) So, the brick work is mostly decorative. Pat had the kids chip away the old mortar off of the bricks. While they repaired the wall, I repaired a hole in my shirt :)
The kids and I have been taking time to notice nature and document weather and observations--practicing being naturalists. I'm calling this Summer practice, "Nature Camp." It's a surprisingly calming, grounding experience. I am always shocked at the creativity of my kids. They jump right in and produce thoughtful and interesting work. I'm holding off on sharing more about this project at this point, but yesterday, we spent our Nature Camp in the tree house. It was so wonderful and offered beautiful perspective I am planning on co-opting that space to write! Sorry kids!
The kids have been mostly great at helping in the garden. We've been feasting on lettuce, peas, garlic scapes, radishes, and strawberries. Soon the mulberries will be ready!
On Father's Day, Pat and kids built three Aldo Leopold benches for the Forest Garden!!! Yesterday, we started to paint them. Abe, Pen, and I each have a bench, but the rain and violin practice waylaid our progress. So, when the sun returns we will finish painting them and then varnish them super well to protect them against the elements. Rain Rain Go Away!
Anna Lentz, artist and writer, blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.