! came across this pdf of Know Your Firs by the Forestry Commission and found it very interesting. It is an archived copy of a book written in 1966. I was trawling the internet for information as I am planning to cover the back wall of the shelter by the pond, with a design done using fir/pine cones beech masts, and acorn shells. I was inspired - awestruck! by a shelter in An Cala open garden on Seil Island. which I might say must have taken years to work out the design and do the work. On a mission now collecting everything needed and learning to cut cones etc.
Unfortunately it says nothing about the amazing shelter, and unless you go into the shelter (which looks like a broken down old shed with one side missing) when visiting you would miss seeing the amazing fir cone design. I really don't know why they don't make a feature of it. We only came across it by accident, having walked round the gardens, I needed to sit down and seeing a shelter by one of the ponds, staggered in to sit down. Here is a photo of part of the back wall of the shelter
What an extraordinary amount of work that took... do you know how old it is? It's holding up amazingly well, because it seems like the pine cones would eventually crumble off.
How large of an area are you hoping to cover with yours? You'll have to persuade everyone here to start saving cones and acorns for you! We saw a shell grotto several years ago that reminds me of this- I'll try and track down the photos tomorrow. I love shell grottos, but I'm not sure I'd have the patience to make one of my own.
No idea how old but am guessing about 80 years old. We tried to find the owner's but they were out so could not ask. What we found a shame was that there seemed no attempt to save it, the timber back and side walls that the designs were attached to were rotting, with no attempt at replacing or treating the parts of the timber that were really rotted. The area I am going to cover is 96cm x 48cm. Basically a central panel. Though daughter is trying to persuade me to do do another two to cover it all. I am fine on the collecting of cones as there are a number of foresters around here and I do have my own larch and fir and beech trees. Bit of a problem with the acorns, but have friends - other side of the hills, collecting for me. Held back a bit on the marine ply onto which to put the design. Felt a bit stupid, we breezed into our local (42 miles away) bought it then discovered we could not get in in the car. So am having to wait till friend with a trailer is passing that way and can pick it up, which at the moment wont be till the middle of December.
What a shame no one is making an attempt to save that. It took someone a long, long time to do.
These are two of the best of the shell grotto pictures I took- the flash photos didn't come out very well, and hand-held photography in an underground cave can be rather hit-or-miss. It's in Margate, and no one seems to know why it was built... it was discovered by accident in 1835, and it remains a mystery to this day.
If I had the time and patience, I'd like to do one that's a combination of shells and mosaic... lots of bits of majolica tiles and those round glass pebbles. I love picking up shells, and it would give me a good excuse!
Last Edit: Nov 28, 2017 19:26:25 GMT by rowanberry
OH WOW! Wish I had known it was there. Used to be in Margate every other weekend as hubby's folk lived there. His mum used to cover boxes and jars with shells to give a presents. I too am a sucker for collecting shells, well for beachcombing generally, just love what you can find. I have them in wicker baskets, tall glass jars and round my indoor plants, small shells, crab cases and claws, shark teeth etc I have in small plastic boxes - running out of ideas and places to keep them. I also have a shelf in the bookcase with large shells, sea urchins and fossils found.
Love the idea of the shell grotto - depending how I go I might do shell side bits to the shelter - got me thinking there:)