Garden and Landscape willow

I’m a lifelong gardener, well, when I say gardener I have no formal training but have always enjoyed being out of doors, more recently I have found myself outside of my own garden and working in those of others, on their willow projects.

A local school contacted me and asked if I could do anything with their tunnel which, to quote their head teacher, had ‘gone punk’ see below:

The whole tunnel shown pre trim, many whips were in excess of 9 feet long

willow tunnel

I spent a very happy few hours trimming and re weaving the tunnel so it looked a little more ‘tamed’ – see below

willow tunnel
Detail of post trimmed willow tunnel showing weaving

There seem to have been many such structures and tunnels planted and then not cared for, if you have one that is looking a bit unkempt, do get in touch and I’ll see what I can do!

Muriel’s Arbour

One of our local Methodist Churches has created a beautiful ‘Quiet Garden’ in its grounds, situated in a busy residential area with a very busy main A road at the gates, the creators of this garden must be applauded for their efforts. They contacted me because they wanted to create a willow structure in the garden somewhere. After a site visit and much discussion it was decided to plant an arbour over one of the seats which has its back to the main road, thus increasing the feeling of being sheltered in this lovely space.

I sourced the willow locally, using willow that I had grown and also some from Muddy Fork in Retford, Notts and from Windmill Gardens a city based community garden, this enabled me to create  a unique structure with a number of different varieties of willow, which will (hopefully) give some lovely winter colour to the garden after leaf fall.

Willow arbour
And so the work begins, this is the arbour at an early stage of development, we added more weavings to create structure, and now must await the Spring!

Spring/Summer update – it’s all growing well and looking gorgeous

Long Eaton community garden project…

…had secured some funding for a willow tunnel and asked me if I could supply this and plant with volunteers and other members of the local community. The project was delayed by the heavy snow and frozen ground, but we eventually planted the entire tunnel in three half days during March, we even had time to make bird feeders  to help attract birds to the gardens.

Volunteer planting the last withies at Long Eaton Community Garden – photo by Alice Donnell


Planting complete at Long Eaton Community Garden – photo by Alice Donnell



Volunteers working on Willow Tunnel at Long Eaton Community Garden

Sherwood Art Week (SAW) 2019

Wanting to ‘give something back’ to SAW I devised a community weave project to be completed over the week of Sherwood Art Week. Below is from my latest newsletter:

All photos by Laura Patterson Photography

As part of Sherwood Art Week 22nd – 29th June 2019 about 30 people joined me in the grounds of the Sherwood Community Centre over three days (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) and between us we created The Three Graces*, or Muses, or the Virgin Mary or the Weird Sisters or even the Three Degrees. I deliberately left the interpretation open to those involved and believe me, we had all of the above and more!

The wikipedia version of the three graces: *The three goddesses generally accepted as the Graces represented grace, charm and beauty also had other qualities that they were associated with: Aglaia represented elegance, brightness and splendor. Thalia represented youth, beauty and good cheer. Euphrosyne represented mirth and or joyfulness.

I think you’ll agree Elegance and splendour are there, we even had some youth; ages of weavers ranged from 5 – 93 and there was much mirth and joyfulness (particuarly on chocolate doughnut day). What we also achieved was calm, fulfilment and sense of common purpose with everyone’s efforts equally valued. It was great! Below are some ‘action shots’

weaving in the rain
Progress at day one

Progress at end of day two