Saturday, February 20, 2010

Improvisational Carpentry: Stick House

Improvisational Carpentry! One of my favorite garden projects. I use Juniperus virginiana  eastern red cedar because termites avoid it. DH saves every big limb or tree he cuts for my next project.
''That's the nice thing about building these places. Nothing is predetermined. You stand there with a pile of twigs and branches and then you work up a pattern, a feel. It's 'It lacks a little something.' You kind of sculpt them.'' -- Peter Torrance, a modern-day Adirondack camp builder.

I started with a pile of limbs.
The ends were set 22" in the ground using post hole diggers.
The curve of each branch interlinked with its opposite neighbor.

Side pieces were interwoven the way wattle is constucted.

Wattle trellis to support floppy plants, from an earlier time.
DH showed me how to wire the joints with stainless safety wire to stablize them .

I miss Cur, he was a faithful helper.
In the fall, when I rake pine straw, the stick house makes good temporary storage.

There's a Cecile Brunner rose on the west side that has taken her time growing toward the top.
On occasion I plant some sweet peas on the east side,
or cypress vine in the summer.

A more recent pic, from July, 2009.
There are some chairs in the stick house, but we rarely sit in one.
I think the term for a structure with no real purpose is a folly.

Do you have a folly in your garden?



  1. I am in awe of your wide open spaces and all the room you have to create folly. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Oh my, what a magical stick house! I love your sense of fun in the garden.

  3. Creativity at its best.... beautiful! ~bangchik

  4. How creative! These are so neat.

  5. That's so cool! I haven't done anything like that lol.

  6. How creative. The possibilities are endless in their creation too.My imagination is running full blown now. LOL! I can picture all sorts of roses and vines running across it to make a private sanctuary or kids play house even.

  7. No follies here but I do like your stick house. I may have to add one to my list this year, the kids would love it.

  8. What a clever idea! I'd love to copy this and encourage clematis to use it as a giant trellis!

  9. Give me time. My willows should take off this year. :)

  10. What fun, a playhouse! I'd have all manner of things growing up the sides. I love climbing plants, but just don't have enough climbing places. q

  11. I love your stick house. I don't think it is is an accent for your garden. My kids would love to play inside of it. Right now, I do not have a folly....too many kids and dogs - but I hope to someday...

  12. My whole garden is looking like a folly right now. I have purple arbors, do they count?

    I have used this stick house of yours as an example of elegant structures in the garden,(with your permission, of course), and there is always this surprised sign when the picture comes up. Everybody loves it.

  13. LOl. I think my entire garden is a folly, Nell Jean, but it's a happy place. Love your stick you KNOW I want darling husband to make me something similar.

  14. I like the idea of using branches that might otherwise go into the brush pile to make this neat place! I need an arch, and I am thinking, if you can make a house, surely I can come up with an arch. Thanks for the idea!

  15. Love the stick structures! We (actually Matti) built a small stick fence around our garden to keep the dogs from getting in to the plants. After a big storm we filled up the back of our car with big Eucalyptus branches that came down in Golden Gate Park.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

Google+ Followers