We are just taking another opportunity to bring subjects up to date and as you know last autumn we planted a willow hedgeway. This wasn’t just for the sake of it, but because all we really had was an empty field that I had strimmed and mowed. So, knowing how good and fast growing willow is, we thought that this was the best way to try and develop a garden structure, because like we said before, we bought 6 acres of empty grazing land and had to try to create an existance from this. We didn’t really have a lot of previous knowledge of alternative living, just snippets of information and glimpses of what could become possible from chance meetings of people from around the world, and then us trying to form an idea. Now, obviously the house had to be built first, we all need a roof over our heads, but trying to do everything all at the same time, build the house, sort out alternative energy, sort out a water supply, well, it all takes time.

Our land is also wet, not sodden but wet ( well this is Ireland!), so willow was an obvious choice as this plant helps to dry out the land and gives an instant structure.

Planted as bare rods in late October, these started producing catkins in late February, so after 8 months from planting  and 4 months from sprouting they laid root and have grown 2 feet.

This is the previous years growth which is 3.5 feet tall, which goes to show that once first planted it puts on a rapid spurt of growth, slows down for a year and then once again takes off at a massive rate.

This is 4 years growth and is at least 10 feet high and 6 feet thick. Because we coppiced this very heavily last autumn it has produced a very thick hedge. The cut rods were then used to create the fedgerows in the previous photos and any pieces that we didn’t think were long enough to cut were incorporated back into the hedge to carry on growing.

Once these have grown to a suitable height they will be joined at the top to form a willow archway tunnel.

Creating a garden creation through the simple medium of willow.

Even though I was bought up next door to a plant nursery that my stepdad owned, and I’ve always been around plants, this sort of technique isn’t  new to me but I didn’t actually have a name for it until a good friend if ours Bridget called round one day and took some photos and called it a fedge. It was then that we decided to set up this blog, thanks Bridget!

We have found it strange that once we started to write this blog it has put the whole project into perspective as we really spread ourselves thinly with what felt like a million projects all at once. It can make your head spin, but then all of a sudden all of those little bits start to come together and show themselves individually and also as a whole collection. It’s a strange thought that as you are trying to do all of these different projects all at the same time, even though you try to give 100% to each thing, you don’t always appreciate what has been achieved at the time. Well, I think that writing about it on this blog puts things into perspective and makes one look at what has been achieved.

We would both like to take this opportunity to say a big hello and welcome to all our new followers. It’s not always possible to reply to you all at the moment but we really do appreciate you all and will try through our next blog meetings to do so. We hope that our site can be helpful and informative for everyone. Also, to our older constant followers, thankyou for staying with us, we are so glad that you are part of this with us and can witness the changes of life at’ The Willows’.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tammy
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 03:39:08

    I love the willow hedge.


  2. Bridget
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 10:01:24

    Fantastic growth…it looks so lush and healthy. There is a saying that “Rome was’nt built in a day.” We sometimes forget that things take time and want it all…now! But time it takes. You guys have done brill…more to come. It’s only after almost 10 years here that we feel our place is sort of how we want it.


  3. silverbells2012
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 18:35:02

    It will be interesting to see how your land develops!


  4. linniew
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 02:59:41

    The willows are amazing– I love the curves of the arches– Looking forward to seeing how they all evolve!


  5. ceciliag
    Jul 08, 2012 @ 12:39:34

    I love that willow fedge.. willow leaves are good for animals too they help them to expel parasites. c


  6. islandthreads
    Aug 21, 2012 @ 05:45:32

    hello, I too find writing things down help put things into perspective, I also find since having a digital camera and taking loads more photos that looking back over older photos sometimes surprises me at how much an area of my garden has changed, I think you are doing amazing things and like Briget says ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day!’
    another tree that is very good for soaking up water is the Alder and I have found Downey birch does well in damp soil both are lovely trees and with the Willows give a lovely contrast and complement to each other, Frances


  7. alderandash
    Oct 08, 2012 @ 18:46:07

    Beautiful! And great to see what it looks like 4 years on – really useful for those of us newer to planting willow.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: