Turning outdoor areas into beautiful and functional spaces
Nestled deep into the back edge of a sprawling wooded estate, just past the pollinator garden, stands a monument to our beloved pollinators, "The Hive.” This stone artwork was designed and built for our client’s woodland garden in Charlotte, North Carolina.Like a traditional cairn, which throughout human history have been erected as landmarks, trail markers, burial sites, and for ceremonial purposes,
“The Hive” is composed of stacked stones. It is intended to honor the human tradition of stone stacking while also mimicking the conical shape of a Bee Skep, the upside down baskets used to house bees that have been around for over 2000 years. The piece calls for us to shift our attention to our own prehistoric ancestors’ deep connection to the natural world and to honor our long relationship with bees.
This tribute to the bees and their important part as plant pollinators and to our own stoneworking traditions is amplified by the scale of the work. At over 10 ft. tall this monumental work commands your attention as you approach it. As you circle the piece the weaving appearance of the negative spaces between the stones create a mesmerizing effect that is enhanced by the patches of sunlight finding their way down from the canopy above.
Situated up from the creek bank with a large berm built to its east “The Hive” was built on a solid concrete footer, each layer of stacked brown and tan faceted-edged flagstones were mortared in place. The layers start narrower and then get larger as they go up to the widest section then the layers start to taper back smaller until a single stone rests at the pinnacle.