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Landscape design students’ bamboo creation adds whimsy to sustainable farm

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The landscape design studio group installed "Pond Promenade" at the South Carolina farm during spring break.Photo courtesy Will HookerThe landscape design studio group installed "Pond Promenade" at the South Carolina farm during spring break.

The students in Will Hooker’s landscape design studio have done it again: This spring, his Horticultural Science 400 class fashioned yet another unique, colorful and clever bamboo sculpture. The latest project, a bamboo weathervane called “Pond Promenade,” depicts an 8-foot orange fish that appears to be jumping to catch a dragonfly that is 7 feet long, with a wingspan of 11 feet.

The piece was installed at a Pine City, S.C., farm that the owner — a woman who returned to the town after a New York banking career — has set up as a model for transitioning from growing tobacco to a sustainable farming paradigm. The woman’s mother “wanted to give her a birthday gift and asked for suggestions from horticulturists working for the associated non-profit,” said Hooker. “Jenks Farmer, the designer of the very artistic farm, suggested that her mother give her one of my class’ sculptures.”  

The buyer paid construction and delivery costs to a foundation account with funds supporting the Horticultural Science landscape design option, where Hooker teaches as a professor in N.C. State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Julie Sherk, horticultural science teaching assistant professor, assisted Hooker this semester in leading the small-scale landscape design studio, where the sculpture was built. Students participating in the design and building were Jeff Malcolm, the designer of the dragonfly, and Brian Roach, the designer of the fish, along with classmates Kathryn Ann Berry, Hannah Bowers, Joe Fullmer, Xiaolin Huran, Kywanda Lewis, Abbey Piner, Stephen Ratasky, Tony Anthony and Daryl Shores.

Additionally, Hooker said, Laura Fieselman, Emily Blackwell, Sarah Uzzel, Bioafei Jiang, Ansilta De Luca-Westrate and Caitlin McCombs went along on the group’s spring break field trip and helped to install the piece. – Terri Leith

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