Towler garden project

150 150 Thuja Wood Art - Reclaimed Cedar Furniture Wood Art Vancouver Victoria Gulf Islands British Columbia

Here on Pender Island, BC we have some lovely gardens.  This project was aimed at enhancing a nice garden with a bench (for rest and relaxation), and two rose arbours (one small and one big).  Everything is made from reclaimed red cedar driftwood which I salvage myself.

The bench is about 5′ long and uses a combination of mortise and tenon joinery and some long screws which are plugged (for some of the pieces that I couldn’t make work with tenons).  The cedar is split by hand into the shapes I can use, and fit together after laying out the joinery on the floor.  I try to keep a natural feel to my furniture by keeping legs wider at the base,  leaving the natural colours and marks from splitting or from being on the beach.  This bench has some wonderful colours in the cedar, from light to dark tones.  Notice also the knot hole in the left rear post, you can put your finger right through it!  The bench is very comfortable as the back piece is slightly curved and leans back gently.

The two rose arbours are also red cedar split by hand.  The small rose arbour was designed to be mounted onto a metal saddle, keeping it up off the ground.  It was placed behind a lovely rose that will climb right up to the top, though the clients want to keep this rose pruned  to the height of the arbour.  Finely split red cedar will bend very nicely, and allows for some unique designs.  The second rose arbour is much bigger at 8′ tall with 4 posts all on metal saddles, again to keep them off the ground.  The front beam is curved, but the back one is not, which creates a nice dip in the one corner, off setting the usual straight lines of this type of arbour.  The corner that dips is also where the existing large climbing rose will come up and over on top of the arbour, which should look natural and pleasing once all in place.  This space under the arbour would be perfect for a bench swing, or wicker chair in the heat of the summer…


Colin Hamilton

All stories by: Colin Hamilton
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