Pick Up Sticks

Sonia Thompson

At Splinter Creek, we love anything inspired by nature. So when we came across Patrick Doughtery's imaginative stick installations, we had to share.

Patrick Dougherty's final project, "Fit For a King," at the Mounts Botanic Garden in West Palm Beach, Florida.

A recent article in Garden & Gun magazine describes the artist's body of work -- over 300 sculptures found in public spaces around the globe -- as "imaginative castles, pointed towers, twisting walls, and airy domes" that allow "visitors to step inside or poke their heads through window-like openings."

"Fly Away Home," in Cary, North Carolina, created in 2022 (photo by Kurt Hilton).

But just like his structures made of sticks and other natural materials, nothing lasts forever. After a 40-year career, Dougherty is retiring with the installation of his final piece, Fit For a King, at the Mounts Botanic Garden in West Palm Beach, Florida. He describes his final work as "A grand-looking place—a temple, castle, edifice—with big windows in the interior, lots of ways to look out into the garden. I imagined visitors could go over and walk through it with a grand feeling."

"Finders Keepers," at the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts, Jackson, Wyoming, and made of local willow in 2022.

We could see something similar to Dougherty's art at Splinter Creek. Dreaming about these natural structures tucked into our 650 acres of rolling hills and pine forests and three lakes seems magical. What do you imagine?

"Just Beyond the Forest Curtain," located at Cape Fear Botanical Garden, Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 2015.

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