Garden News Blog

First Section of Installation Complete

Today scaffolding was removed from the first completed section of the Dougherty installation. There are several more sections yet to be completed, but having the chance to wander into one of the picturesque structures this afternoon was pretty awe inspiring.

It is a true delight to see wood woven so intricately together on such a large scale and to be able to interact with it. This is a piece to be experienced, not just viewed. Being inside one of the "lairs," as Dougherty calls them, the scent of the cut willow saplings and branches is incredibly powerful and transportive. Once you step into the space, Brooklyn seems to fade and a more natural, contemplative place emerges. In a city where you’re rarely alone in outdoor areas, being inside the sculpture gives you an immediate feeling of quiet, calm, and personal space. Small windows and openings frame garden views, and sunlight dapples through the branches. All around you is the color, smell, sounds, and texture of nature. Patrick Dougherty and his team of volunteers work on the sculpture each day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and welcome visitors.

Rebecca Bullene is a former editor at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. She is the proprietor of Greenery NYC, a creative floral and garden design company that specializes in botanical works of art including terrariums, urban oasis gardens, and whimsical floral arrangements.

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Image, top of page:
Looking out from within one section of Patrick Dougherty's sculpture at BBG. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
Looking out from the center of one completed section of the installation. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
The first section of the Dougherty sculpture is complete. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
Scaffolding is moved as the first section of the sculpture is completed. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.
Scaffolding is moved as the first section of the sculpture is completed. Photo by Rebecca Bullene.