Sunday, May 30, 2010

Weaving a dream at the Arboretum

Left, North Carolina Artist Patrick Dougherty and volunteers are constructing an elaborate two-story folly of sticks and branches harvested from the Minnesota Arboretum and elsewhere.

Something new is growing , as a North Carolina sculptor crafts a fantasy castle out of twigs and branches.

Standing amid huge bundles of willow branches, dogwood cuttings and box elder boughs, Patrick Dougherty tugged on a pair of well-worn gloves and set to work weaving branches into a two-story "castle" on a driveway island in front of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska. For the past three weeks the internationally known artist from North Carolina and about 80 volunteers were on a single-minded drive to make magic out of underbrush -- 6,000 pounds of spring prunings that would otherwise go to mulch.

The results of their effort will debut Saturday morning in a ceremony that is a prelude to the arboretum's summer celebration of "Powerhouse Plants." Like all of Dougherty's work, the arboretum project is a fanciful mash-up of sculpture, architecture and botanical dreamscape. The structure is a temporary addition to the arboretum's landscape, expected to last about two years before it disintegrates under the pressure of weather and natural decay. Even so, it is sturdy enough for visitors to enter and explore, dodging in and out of doorways, wandering hallways under twig arches and .....More.

Last update: May 23, 2010 - 8:01 PM

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