Tuesday, January 26, 2010

five, six

Every gardener needs sticks.
..and art is not just about pictures, it demands a wider place to be.
I recall in the mid sixties doing some winter coppicing, clearing chestnut and hazel for bean sticks and stakes.
I knew a man then called George Rhodes from Blindley Heath who was an old school woodman, not a man who suffered fools gladly. I learnt much from him as well as my Father who I worked with at the time.

I have been on the look out for some saplings, and this morning I moved from thinking to doing. An ash sapling was selected to test my neglected skills
My billhook, used by woodmen and hedge-layers is a Kent pattern, and like waggons they varied from county to county.
I could not remember George ever carrying a saw, only axes, so I took my sapling down with the newly sharpened billhook.
I trimmed it out with very little waste, splitting the larger sections to form cleft stakes. This I found difficult, and my stakes became a little shorter than I intended!
A little January sun came out and cheered me, in what was a pleasant exercise. But I do need some more, Hazel for beans and birch for my Mange tout later and now is the time to do it.

1 comment:

  1. Yesterday I collected my bean poles from a hedgerow near Lingfield, they escaped the SCC flail mower and for me have zero air miles.

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