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Plants & Gardens 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.


  • Rose Taps August 11, 2010

    While manning the information table today it was so nice to have many people stop by and ask questions about the installation. Everyone seemed to be in awe of the creation being formed before their eyes. One couple was sure it was Patrick Dougherty who had installed one of his works at their college. Sure enough, they browsed through his book and found it. Hat Trick done in 2003 at Grinnell College, Grinnell Iowa. They took pictures of the present work and got to speak with Patrick. Helping people at the information table is never dull!

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