So the above is the development of the Trees on the Green project. Joe’s original idea sited the tree as a replacement to an mature oak tree that had been removed as it was beginning to be an ‘obstruction’ to the adjacent main road.
The idea of the tree made of recycled materials took hold as a replacement with modest funds in place to build.
I suggested we test the concept first before starting such a daunting task. It took us both off into our different directions to prove the concept. Ironically we both built the our prototypes with our sons.
The community day tree came 1st and showed that Joe had the sculptural chops to craft them, off the back of his Herculean self build flat conversion.
I working alongside my much younger son retreated back to the Architectural Modelling box of tricks and created a scale version of all of the future trees as submitted to the planners. Lego figures, toothpicks, green baize – like grass allowed for the first “Festooning” as we called it to take place. The spirit of the trees took hold.
As the trees were finally built there was a degree of confusion in the community. “Are they teepees? or fire wood?” Why can’t they plant real trees? (The powers that be actually did in the end). So a team member suggested recycling old vegetation too. As soon as the ivy arrived the ambiguity ceased. They became much beloved.
The love fostered by this and Joe’s ambition to challenge the craft, of making recycled trees led to an extraordinary bit of serendipitous fortune. There were some local cut logs being offered by some tree surgeons and our profile was raised enough to be asked to join a local art festival for their prestigious “Art in the Park” community day.
So we are now 4 trees down from model to concept, from community green space to public park. What next?
The slight niggle. The legacy of such a project. As essentially temporary sculptures there is a shelf life for each iteration. So with a slight change of name….even this being temporary “Beds on the Green” was born.
Another constant public comment and request is why don’t you plant flower (as opposed to the wonderful trees! I ask you?)? So we eventually did.
The recycled wooden railway sleeper planting beds with a wildflower planted bed should suffice.
So from felled great oaks life reanimates.
Go take a look and contact us!
2 thoughts on “Tree-volution”
Saffron Myers suggested adorning the Tree structures with ivy to give us some instant softening. She is a theatre director and designer and this is one of many of her great ideas. I asked on Lewisham Freegle and the general response was: we are trying to get rid of our ivy from our garden and cannot believe that you want to come here, cut it down, bag it up and take it away!