Stellar Violets’ first artists’ collaboration came off this weekend; sculptor Myles HayHendry teamed with freelance florist Paula McKennay to create a willow sculpture for our upcoming pop up lunch, Fervor X Stellar Violets: Truffle Degustation on Sunday June 26 2016.

Myles and Paula arrived at Stellar Violets first thing Saturday morning to unload the two metre diameter steel dome. Next stop? The willow trees down the hill in the organic orchard.

Myles perched in the high boughs and harvested canes to his heart’s content. Manjimup is heartland. Myles’ family line goes back five generations to pioneers John and Ann Giblett, while Paula grew up on a Seven Day Road apple orchard, granddaughter to George Newton, who founded Newton Orchards with his brother, Harold, in 1929. Myles and Paula return regularly to visit loved ones, and naturally, score a bag or two of crispy apples from the family orchards.

A boiler maker by trade and veritable green thumb, Myles has tended an extensive garden at his Roleystone property for over ten years. The garden comprises several of his unique sculptures, while this will be his first sculptural collaboration.

Paula honed her craft in floristry first working alongside her mother, Carole, in their Manjimup florist, later running a successful business in Nedlands, then Shenton Park, called Florambiente. Paula’s now a freelance florist with an impressive portfolio of styling gigs spanning weddings, bespoke events and festivals, including The Truffle Kerfuffle. Follow her on Insta >

Over two and a half days, Paula fixed over 400 willow and apple tree canes to the dome, enlisting help from… anybody who happened to be standing around! Sunshine, fresh air and a crackling chimenea fire made for a convivial atmosphere, as one by one, we pruned, stripped, and attached the canes.

Creative spirits were buoyed by banter and intermittent feasting on, oh, you know, freshly caught marron, seared on the grill with garlic and parsley (thanks cousin Cal), and the likes of some smoky snapper BBQ parcels. In true style, we rounded it out nicely Sunday night in the only way an orchard dweller can: Just picked, tree-ripened organic Granny Smith apple pie, with home made ice cream.

Where’s the sculpture, then? Out there, in the front of the train carriage! The Welded Willow Sculpture will be unveiled at our pop up degustation truffle lunch, featuring celebrated chef, Paul Iskov. Paul foraged for garlic scapes, broad beans, edible blooms and warrigal greens at Stellar Violets last year. We’re delighted to bring him back this winter to cook in our garden for a few special guests. Tickets on sale at the Truffle Kerfuffle Festival website. Book now >

Special thanks to Myles HayHendry, Paula McKennay, Tracey Gartlan, Marco Capriolo, Paul Pulé, and all the kids for your great spirits over the weekend. Here’s to more artistic collaboration, feasting, and good times at Stellar Violets.