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Willow weaving

 
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wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14975
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 05 10:51 am    Post subject: Willow weaving  Reply with quote    

I guess you all saw on gardener world this week they were making a willow woven fence to contain the container garden. I want have a go at this to fence the four legged fiends (sorry, dogs) out of my flower beds, and to stop them wearing a path in the lawn. I have done it with hazel withies, which worked until they figured out they were sticks, and pulled them out! (They like sticks!) I want to make a fence about 2 feet high - will willow work for this - has anyone tried it, and has any advice to offer, or do I just bung it in, and tie it togther? I was going to try it for permant plant supports too.

I know willow is thirsty, and I'm a bit concerned it might deprive other plants of water or nutrients

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 05 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There's a thread somewhere in "land management" about willow, on a bigger scale than yours but it might give you some tips; Percypony has some planted, and there are quite a few people on here who know a fair bit about it.

I'm not one of them but I've never let it stop me before.

There's a nice article in a Country Smallholding of a couple of issues ago, I'll try to dig it out and see if there's anything useful in it for your project. I may need prodding to do this.

And at Yalding they have several living willow projects so you might find some good info on the HDRA site - they have all their factsheets in the members' area, I think - or if you've kept past copies of the The Organic Way (or Organing Away as it seems to be known to you ). Actually come to think of it they have PDFs of back issues on the site too, which is very very thoughtful of them.

judyofthewoods



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 804
Location: Pembrokeshire
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 05 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

For anyone interested in living fences etc. look at this site
http://www.treedome.com/
You can weave any tree, some are better than others, willow just one of the fastest and easiest, and I think conifers are not suited, and make the wood fuse to a solid mass. You have to stick to one species though, can't mix ash with sycamore for example.
One of the many sites linked to from the above showing a detail of fused wood
http://www.bonfantegardens.com/trees/trees.html

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14975
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 05 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That's interesting, judy - I did wonder if it would work with something like hazel, which would make a sturdier fence in the end. At the moment, I want something open enough to see the beds through, and quick enough to keep the fleabags out so things will grow this year (I have recently discovered Ben likes to sit in my raised bed - no wonder the poor foxgloves are looking sick!) especially as we have almost finished excavating the nasty bamboo from the veg plot-to-be. The alternative was plastic netting, and willow is quick, cheap, biodegradable and produced sustainably in the UK.

In my next garden (yes, there's another one on the horizon, again!) I might have a go with others, as I hate fences and hedges are lovely on the boundary, but take up a lot of room, so an ash woven structure would be a lovely alternative. Oh dear - another project seems to have snuck onto the list!

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14975
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 05 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bugs wrote:

(or Organing Away as it seems to be known to you )


Oy! Don't be rude!

Just looked at the bonfante site - wow! I love the chair - I could have a whole dining set made of trees, that wood be fantastic, and I've always like the idea of pergolas made of trees.

Oh dear, my enthusiasm is getting the better of me again!

judyofthewoods



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 804
Location: Pembrokeshire
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 05 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

One idea for a fence would be to start off with a fast growing willow fence, and then plant an ash hedge behind (the protected side). After the ash, which is fairly fast growing, is established, you can remove the thursty willow hedge. If you keep cutting the new shoots, it will die eventually. You could cut the willow fence-hedge at the base and use the resulting panels elsewhere. Or plant a burgleratus impaleatae (a very thorny species which keeps burglers out) behind the willow vanguard.

Lloyd



Joined: 24 Jan 2005
Posts: 2699

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 05 12:37 am    Post subject: Re: Willow weaving Reply with quote    

wellington womble wrote:
I guess you all saw on gardener world this week they were making a willow woven fence to contain the container garden. I want have a go at this to fence the four legged fiends (sorry, dogs) out of my flower beds, and to stop them wearing a path in the lawn. I have done it with hazel withies, which worked until they figured out they were sticks, and pulled them out! (They like sticks!) I want to make a fence about 2 feet high - will willow work for this - has anyone tried it, and has any advice to offer, or do I just bung it in, and tie it togther? I was going to try it for permant plant supports too.

I know willow is thirsty, and I'm a bit concerned it might deprive other plants of water or nutrients


I don'y know what sort of dogs you have, but what I'm planning to do is fence off he veg patch with a woven hazel fence about knee high, to stop the cat using the patch as a loo, and the dogs then treating it as a deli after!

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14975
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 05 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Very energetic ones! They're border collies, and I've been training them to stay out of the beds and they're actually getting quite good - they just need a bit more of a prompt to stay on the path occasionally (like when they're chasing cats - making damn sure they never catch them though!)

I just want to fence off the veg bed with a fence about about knee high, to make absolutely sure they stay out and attempt to salvalge the lawn this year.

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