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Grab some willow and get weaving

28 november 2012
Grab some willow and get weaving

It's the perfect time of year to plant a living willow sculpture. You'll find young willow saplings at your favourite garden centre: choose varieties with stems in all sorts of colours from black through green, yellow and red. Plant anywhere in reasonably damp soil, and weave them together to make all sorts of structures in the garden. Here are just a few:

Fedges are a cross between a fence and hedge. They make lovely informal boundaries: plant half the willow rods at 45° to the ground, 25cm apart, then the other half going the other way to make a criss-cross pattern.

Willow domes make great hideyholes for kids – or just a green shady nook to relax in. Plant vertical willow rods in a circle and tie in at the top, then weave more willow diagonally across the gaps.

Willow sculptures are only limited by your imagination: hares, deer, sheep, dogs... it's up to you. Book yourself onto a willow sculpture classes to master the basics, then get creative!

Winter colour is what willows do best. Coppice young willow (cut hard back) every spring to get a thicket of vibrant, colourful young stems with bark that shines in low winter sun.