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.