It’s hard to find a more perfect material for creating outdoor structures than branches. They’re inexpensive, if not free. They complement the landscape, especially if you’re going for a woodsy vibe. They’re 100 percent organic, and will eventually return seamlessly to the earth from whence they came.
The only trick is finding a source and knowing some patience might be involved. Small Spot Gardens tends to use Bayview Greenwaste; if an arborist is working in the neighborhood, it’s like a tree treasure trove.
A throne fit for a forest queen! This stump-turned-chair from the northern woods of Ashland, Oregon is lovely example of how death can be given new life. Have to cut down a tree in your yard or garden? Is it in a good spot for contemplation, conversation, chillin’? Consider this au natural, totally local and 100 percent organic garden furniture. This is an especially great idea if you have little kids (remember building forts?). But young or old, wouldn’t we all like to be cuddled by the heart of a mighty tree?
Using untreated, naturally-worn wood in the garden can offer a sense of warmth and a seamless integration into the surrounding landscape. This is almost a no-brainer, considering wood-as-a-building-material was once wood-the-body-of-a-tree.
At Merritt College’s permaculture garden in Oakland, an herb spiral is shaped by short, uneven pillars. The wooden outline can also double as seats while the gardeners pick their thyme and oregano!
This is a wild grape vine that Elisa’s parents placed in a blank spot in their home. The twisty nature of this plant in inherently sculptural; it’s not hard to imagine using a dead, woody vine as a trellis for a more delicate plant, such as peas in a veggie garden.
And check out this simple way to create a fun, different-looking path. Simply cutting one- or two-inch pieces of log, then filling in the gaps with sand. Very pretty and woodsy (and easy and cheap!).
~ The more we garden in San Francisco the more appreciation we gain for how gardens impact the larger ecosystem they’re a part of. In the posts below we seek to celebrate and explore all the ways a garden is connected to what’s around it, in the hopes of loving and stewarding our gardens and our urban landscape a little more. ~