Stumpery? A stumpery is a grotesque form of Victorian folly, a product of the British Romantic Movement, and dates back to the 1850s.
Quite apart from their peculiar aesthetic appeal, stumperies are an economical way of getting rid of problematically large pieces of garden rubbish.
So quite a few readers of this page may have at least a small stumpery, though not usually constructed to feature upended stump roots.
Stumperies are back in fashion too, and Southland's stacks up with some pretty fine company.
Prince Charles has one at Highgrove, commissioned to house his hosta collection, but also colonised by ferns, euphorbias and hellebores.
Ringo Starr has one too, a fairy cave-like construction he bought from the Chelsea Flower Show, and presumably installed at his English estate, given the logistics of lugging it back to California.
But Frank Wells' fantastical sculptural featuring of actual tree roots seems to be in a class of its own.
It's a photographic delight and challenge, and one that will change according to light conditions and as plants recolonise the stumps.
The stumpery is located in Queens Park behind the Royal Foundation for the Blind on Queens Dr.
The growing movement to provide natural play opportunities won accolades last week for several Southland projects.
Fiordland Kindergarten's wild play programme using Ivon Wilson Park took the schools award at the combined Environment Southland and Conservation Department awards, where Frank Wells was also highly commended as an environmental innovator.
At national level, Pukerau Nursery, which has been involved in the revamp of all Southland Kindergarten Association playgrounds, took out a stunning total of seven major Landscape Industry Association awards for the Longford Kindergarten playground.
These included best small (under $400,000) project and best commercial project, gold medals for design and horticulture and silver for construction. Judges commented to kindergarten staff the winning factor was the children's enthusiastic and imaginative interaction with their playground – especially with their stump.
Story suggestions or feedback on this page are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- © Fairfax NZ News