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Hi everybody - and thanks for your fascinating contributions. I have now managed to get at least a description of the picture and it turns out that these are planter type cubes which have been woven from cornel or dogwood in the fashion of a basket. So the mystery of the 'blocks' has been cleared up, and we are definitely talking about the wood, not the plant, but is it 'cornel wood' or 'dogwood'?
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Explanation: Cornel is a tree or bush whose wood is very hard.