May 1st, 2011

A Feast for the Senses, Fairies & a Raucous Parade — What More Could You Want?

Note: Over the next few weeks, we will bring you updates on the progress of the Patrick Dougherty stick sculpture installation at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. We are calling this 3 week transformation of the Anderson Meadow  a “Meadowmorphosis.” We will celebrate the completion of the fantasy-like structure with a naming ceremony at Spring Fling on May 22nd. When the work is complete, you will be able to walk through it and peek out openings. The sculpture will be part of the Garden’s landscape as long as Nature allows, so look forward to enjoying it with seasonal changes (and even lighted at GardenFest!)  To get an idea of the type of structure he is building, take a look at some photos of Patrick Dougherty’s other work.

by Randee Humphrey, Director of Education, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

What a feast for the senses today at the Meadowmorphosis site!  The weather was constantly shifting—foul weather gear one minute, sunglasses and t-shirts the next.  The clouds moved across the sky in a dramatic show, lightning and thunder forced those on scaffolding to move to lower ground, rain pelted us and then wind blew us dry.  We took great advantage of periods of sun and rain—a lot of weaving was accomplished.  I’m especially in awe of the volunteers who stayed through these extreme and varying conditions.  We truly have a remarkable and loyal crew!

And, if you’ve never smelled freshly cut sweet gum, stop by and help us strip a few more leaves and find out first-hand why it’s called “sweet” gum — I’m sure my sense of smell will always hold a memory of its unusual scent.

Two mothers and their children came to the Garden today from the Washington, DC area, specifically to see Patrick’s work-in-progress.  Two little girls made it clear that they believe in fairies (don’t you?), and we stood for a moment in one of the chambers of the sculpture to imagine if fairies would find it an appealing abode.  I was reminded that the Garden’s librarian, Janet Woody, has placed on exhibit in the Lora Robins Library some of the fairy and hobbit houses that our talented horticulture crew and volunteers have created from sticks and other natural materials for past GardenFest of Lights train displays.

And of course, don’t forget the Spring Fling on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. A raucous parade from the Children’s Garden to the Anderson Meadow will get underway at 2 p.m., and hopefully Patrick will be our parade marshal, leading the way!


Randee Humphrey, the Garden’s Director of Education, heads up a team of accomplished educators and program developers who design public, school, and special audience programs, educational exhibits and interpretation, and community engagement initiatives and partnerships. She loves how Beautiful RVA serves as a natural extension of the Garden’s heartfelt mission, as well as her own mission to live fully, be present, and serve others.

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