Planting t’Other Bit

Here’s a picture of our latest composition, still in progress. You’re looking at 900 basket willow (under the sheet), 80 hazel, 120 red oak (the segment with incomplete mulch mats) and 80 small-leaved lime. 50 ghost gums will go into the next segment, once I’ve dragged that huge pile of bramble cuttings out of the way. These first five segments spell WHOLE, so I can remember them. Monica has planted 66 elder in a hedge along the inside of the fence and 50 creeping juniper on the outside, to control the brambles in the front wall. The remaining segments, defined by the rear fence poles with diagonal bracing, will be of alder, field maple and bird cherry. All except the willow and hazel will be coppices with standards so three or four of each species will be allowed to grow into a timber tree.

Watched the Horizon archive episode about Bucky the other day. It nicely gets home the point that his enquiries were about the fundamental practicalities of the universe, such as that two lines cannot pass through the same point. It shows how these enquiries lead him to contribute to many fields, with the domes as a by-product.

In the workspace at t’Other Bit, right in the middle, next to the gate, I’ll be making a living willow sculpture from next year’s withies. Despite what I just said, it will almost certainly be a dome, though we should try to imagine what BF would have made in this situation. The material constraints are: withies can be straight or bent and will grow to three or more yards; the main members need to have one end in the ground; replaceable members can be wicker-work; got to be able to prune enough to maintain the function (shelter).


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