Woodchip muffins

Firewood is now such a frightful price that you feel compelled to maximize the layers of pleasure it can provide.  The provision of warmth alone isn’t enough.

As it happens, I like the way it smells, and I love that rich and fat feeling I have when I’ve got a great big stack of it in storage.  There’s a kind of cornucopic abundance that comes with it – the same feelings supplied by a bountiful vegie garden at harvest time.

But this year even that wasn’t enough.  Couple my desire to make it work harder with a delivery too far from the shed, a sunny afternoon and a few hours of office work I was desperate to avoid, and this is the result.  Redgum muffins.


Or redgum Monet haystacks, perhaps.

In the mix above were some very fond memories of Marnarnie, when owned by Kevin O’Neill (the florist), whose Swiss(?) gardener following the Ash Wednesday fires cut all the burnt trees for firewood and stacked them as above throughout the garden.  They became, for several years, this garden’s leitmotif.  At any point in this huge garden, they’d be echoing around you, and disappearing off under the canopy in the distance.


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22 thoughts on “Woodchip muffins

  1. I worked at Marnanie in the early nineties, and yes, Marco was a Swiss migrant from Chur who was head gardener there in the pre-and post-fire years. He made the beautiful wood piles, but liked to make little of it, telling us it was just a handy way to stack wood!

    • hi there i worked at marnanie after the bush fires of 1983 have fond memories of the place, i also worked with marco speck, tree ferns were my favourite and the large pond at the top of the garden ,we helped cut down a huge gum tree at the time . chris dixon , in pommie land. ps worked with a guy called jullian from melbourne

  2. That is absolutely fantastic Michael. Yes, very Andy Goldsworthy-esque which I love. Just goes to show that natural materials can be used in both fun and practical ways. So what is the next firewood sculptural piece you’re going to do? ……

      • Well if that’s the case I think you’ve got a couple of options to consider … you could either develop a new hobby of wood turning to make that solitary piece ‘special’ or find a friend with a bush block that needs seasonal thinning so you don’t have to buy it …..

    • I don’t need to. I know for a fact that this firewood has been sitting out in the open for at least a decade. It might take me eighteen months to use it all, but it won’t come to any harm in that time

    • You should see the beasties that take up residence in it when stacked in the woodshed. I turn out endless rats nests with every new layer I peel off. Can’t be any worse outside. Might even be better

  3. Wow those look amazing! Care to offer any ‘how-to’s’ on getting them to look that fancy! Sure beats a up ended trailer load of wood!

    • Love these! Perhaps you should order another load of fire wood for this season and keep your muffins for next winter.

    • Easy. I made a circular wall (with a central post and a bit of old rope to make sure it at least started as a perfect circle) and just chucked all the odd shaped bits in the middle to fill it up. Saved any shingle-shaped pieces for the top.
      That was the only fussy bit. Voila!

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