Friday, 30 November 2018

Willow withies for weaving

Willow stand last weekend - before it's haircut
Willow cutting day arrived with a beautiful sunny start and much less wind than yesterday so I wrapped up warm and filled the flask whilst J loaded up the tools and we headed up to the plot.  I love this job each year, not only is it very much a free crop but it's also a relatively quick job that can be done no matter what the weather has been like for the preceding week. The original withies were given to us by a fellow plot holder who worked clearing canal and river banks following a flood about eight or ten years ago and we popped them in not really expecting them to do much - it was the wrong time of year, we grow on sandy soil and the planting place used to be the road-stone heap for the rest of the site before we took on the plot. The withies really wanted to grow though and now we have a wonderful shady screen for our shed, a seemingly never-ending supply of bean poles & weaving material and a great wildlife stop-over to boot. Even this year the stand of willows have put on around 15ft of growth and in previous wetter years the poles have been known to be over 20ft tall!

Last year's sticks dried & ready for use

Cut pile growing
Some of the smaller (5ft and under) whips will be going to the hospice with me this week for use in the craft corner - the person in charge has already looked out simple to make stars and hearts ready for adding to folks Christmas piles. I've also popped a few short sticks in the pile in case anyone wants to make fairy wands!

First bundle ready
Drying pile
J turned some of the bigger whips into a couple of circular plant supports for me to use in the garden here and these join the sweet-pea wigwams and Christmas decorations he's made in previous years. We stacked the rest of the crop on the plot to start drying out (never use fresh cut willow as a plant support as it has a tendency to grow into a lovely little willow tree!) and brought some smaller whips back for me to play with over the next week.

Half way there

Job done!

A wonderful day made even better by my first spotting of a raven circling overhead - it's croaking call was unmistakable and such a joy to hear!

One of J's large plant supports and my mini hoop effort

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment, due to an upsurge in "odd" comments all comments are moderated. I hope it won't put too many of you off. I think I've also finally fixed the issue that meant we couldn't reply to comments