Tree Fences

Tree Fences

The floods of October moved a lot of rocks down the ravine that forms the edge of our property. Gifts, in a very real sense, since rocks are essential to building here. The outdoor kitchen patio is cut into the mountain that forms the back of the property. The new rocks will form the final section of a sort of planter that runs the length of that patio. This after the required manual labor of harvesting the rocks from the ravine…Wence and Eddy…they do it all…

Tree Fences

A thousand years ago…okay, maybe 25 years ago, Wence’s father planted these trees along the property line, common practice to mark such things.  Later, when we cut into the mountain, the roots were exposed, but I could not bear to remove them.  so now, Wence and Eddy are finishing up the rock planter we started years ago.  I will miss the gnarled exposed roots, but everything (here and everywhere) is composed of what is seen and unseen….plus the trees will be happier i am sure.

This type of tree is in the copal family, but not the one incense comes from.  It is  well adapted to tough high desert mountain terrain.  You can cut any part of it, let it sit for a week or two in the hot sun, then stick it in anywhere,,,even pure rock, and it will root.  It makes the perfect free living fence.  Later in the project we lined the rest of our property line against the mountain with more and are about to root some for the lower section.

The volunteer, invasive, tough plants here have become our version of gardening.  There is no point in fighting the leaf cutter ants that love to eat anything tender. Even less of a point to try to replicate the tropics of coastal Mexico, wasting precious water in the process. This place has it’s own rhythms and gifts.  We are committed to using those things.  The magueys, agaves, that many of you know from our beloved Mezcal…those are some of the toughest plants around.  If you harvest small ones, like the copal trees, you have to leave them settle in the hot sun for weeks before you replant them…I’ll never forget Cosme, Wence’s dad cautioning the gringa (me)….don’t water them!…or they will die!

Never was much of gardener, so it’s perfect for me.  My momma’s idea of garden was a patch of loofah sponge plants against the chain link fence in the parking area of the apartment building where i grew up…(miss her, and think of her every time i scrub up with a loofah…)

The maguey (sometimes called the century plant) lives long, and then in one major push, puts up a huge flower stalk.  The sky is amazing with that silhouette dotting the mountains.  (Wence shot a nice photo of one last year, i’ll look for it…)We had two on our property this season. We cut them both, one is on an outside patio, threaded through some rebar on an unfinished post. (Looks finished to me now!…)  the other ended up in the living room….this thing is about 15 feet tall and the drying flower head about four feet in diameter…

I will have to figure out a way to wire it up, suspended from the ceiling, for now it is supported by two bookcases…

The ravine gave Wence yet another major gift during the rock harvest.  A huge round rock, bigger than your head, and the round part is emerging from ruffled edges…

It is sitting on a windowsill on the patio (the window sills are 15” thick mind you)…and when we pass it, many times a day, it is the buddha belly/head….it is the moment when you stop and say thank you, thank you, thank you….This mountain, this place gives gifts every day….and we remain grateful and slightly giddy from it….

 

Thanks for your interest in our work…the many facets of such work…xxx