Strawberries in the Desert

Story telling from Australia

Protect your patch

I’ve just come back from two days in Tasmania to discover birds have pecked at the 19 figs I’ve been jealously guarding for the past four months.

I should have had one of these.


Canberra-based artist Wendy Moore made this extraordinary scarecrow to protect her newly planted vegetable patch, and Wendy would be the first to point out that you can make one too.

Warrior Woman, as I like to think of her, was made entirely out of found objects.DSC00582

The metal steamer that forms her head was scavenged from the tip shop at the edge of Broken Hill. Perched on top of her head is an old plant pot, in which ‘hair’ will soon be growing.

The discarded bird feathers were found on walks through the bush and the red-hot chilli peppers and capsicum draped around Warrior Woman’s neck were another tip shop find. The canny Wendy was convinced she would one day find a use for them.

DSC00580Don’t know what a tip shop is? Head to your nearest waste disposal centre and chances are you’ll find someone selling bits of junk cheaply. One person’s junk is always someone else’s treasure.DSC00594

Look closely and you’ll see Warrior Woman wears a headband woven from old Nepalese saris, and the white silk scarf tied around her neck is a khata, a gift traditionally given to visitors to Nepal. Wendy has worked with women at Samunnat for many years, helping them create and make exquisite jewellery that sells like hot cakes around the world.

DSC00598Warrior Woman’s skirt is made of prayer flags that Wendy produced years ago, printed with words of blessing and inspiration.

DSC00597When I look at this magnificent Warrior Woman I think of a Sacred Scarecrow, one that should keep the birds away and encourage growth. How cool is that?

PS. Wendy runs inspirational polymer clay workshops, so if you’re anywhere near Canberra you should look her up. You’d be in for a real treat.





7 comments on “Protect your patch

  1. nantubre
    February 12, 2016

    How delightful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eliza Waters
    February 12, 2016

    What a beautiful and inspiring creation. Thanks for sharing her!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. monsoonwendy
    February 13, 2016

    Oh you darling thing! I have to say, she did a lousy job with possums but graciously moved over so I could drape old mosquito nets over my second attempt at peas! She’s getting less shy though and smiles at people passing by now. Hope you can salvage some figs!!


    • debhuntwasinbrokenhill
      February 14, 2016

      Brilliant use of old mosquito nets! Have gobbled five figs only three left then I’ll have to wait until next year 🙂


  4. Mala Burt
    February 13, 2016

    I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in the US. I had two fig trees which produced a few figs that always seemed to be eaten (or chewed just enough so I didn’t want them) by squirrels. Last year a really cold snap killed my Celeste fig. I thought the Brown Turkey had bitten the dust as well but a few shoots showed up in the spring. It didn’t produce a single fig last summer, but I am forever hopeful. You can’t be a gardener if you don’t have hope.


    • debhuntwasinbrokenhill
      February 14, 2016

      You’re so right Mala, gardening teaches you hope and patience. Sometimes it teaches you the way to the nearest farmers’ market.


      • Mala Burt
        February 14, 2016

        At times I think it would be cheaper for me to forego raising my own veggies (squash defeat me every year) and just buy things at the Farmer’s Market, but then I would also forego the pleasure of being on my knees with my hands in the dirt.

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on February 11, 2016 by and tagged , , , , , , .

I'm a writer based in Australia with a passion for gardening, remote places and people with a story to tell.

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