Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Transplanting your potted willow tree to your garden

As the summer is slowly fading, the colours change and the leaves start to fall, it is time to transplant your potted willow tree to the garden - if you haven't done so yet.

When you first made your tree at our workshop (or bought it) in the spring, the willow rods didn't have any roots yet and you had to leave it in the pot to root and start growing.
It would look like the one in the photo on the left.

When the roots have developed during the summer, you can transplant it to your garden - and by this time of the year you have to do so. First of all the roots may not make it through the winter in the pot above ground, and secondly the woven tree is really 32 willow plants in that little pot - so it really wants to get some more room for its feet.

This morning - still a bit of fog in the air - a woven tree waiting to be planted looks like this one in the photo to the right.
Words and photos by Lene Rasmussen,Willows.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Living Willow Fence - one year later.......

Planting a woven Living Willow Fence has to be one of the fastest ways to create a living wall in your garden.
My woven fence was planted in the beginning of April 2010 and you can see what it looked like by the end of May that same year here.
After pruning in the fall - as I want to maintain the visibility of the shape of the fence - this is what it looked like in mid November the first year.

The following photos are from June this year, the fence being one year old.
If you are not interested in showing the weave, but would rather have a dense hedge, you can at this point weave all the long shoots into the structure.
We don't have a lot of trees on our property, but our neighbour does - and from early afternoon on the hedge is in shade. As you can see, it is doing just fine with the hours of sun that it gets daily.
On the North side of the fence, however the growth is more sparse and you can easily see the woven pattern even at this time of the year. To maintain the fence - so that it doesn't get lopsided - it is important to either prune it at least once (better twice) annually or continually weave any new growth into it.
By the end of July this second growing season the look is very full and the fence is ready for another pruning.
Words and photos by Lene Rasmussen,Willows.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Willow Bird Feeder Classes

My friend Frances - who has a lot of experience working with willow and who is also the treasurer of the Southwestern Ontario Basketry Guild (SOBG) - had talked me into joining her in teaching members of the SOBG to make willow bird feeders.

At the Chatham location - The Chatham Cultural Centre - we had 7 eager members working on their feeders. 
The craft room at the center is large and equipped with lots of tables, chairs and each student had lots of space - which is required for this project.
Sunday's class was held at one of the member's studio in Thorndale. A beautiful space with everything that a basket (or craft) maker can dream of and the 5 students had a great time weaving and enjoying the beautiful view of the gardens and horses in the field. Thank you Linda for hosting this - and your offerings of coffee, tea, wonderful muffins and making sure we were not hungry as we hit the road again, some of us having several hours of driving ahead of us.
I am sure that everyone will enjoy watching the birds that will be frequenting the feeders in months to come.
Words and photos by Lene Rasmussen,Willows