Friday, 7 February 2014

Weaving Willow on my plot

I hated fences and barriers around my plot, but, last April faced with two industrial sized poly tunnels alongside my plot I have been thinking of ways to screen their hulking ugliness from my view.  Last March I planted a hedge of dog roses along 4 meters on one side, and created a new seating,& potting area on the side of my shed, where I could glimpse part of the expanse of the allotments,  I was given a roll of blue netting and so fenced off my top bed ..  I hated it but, hey ho, if I was ever to get anything  growing that season  I had to put up with it.

I  made a lovely willow arch at  the entrance to my plot, but unfortunately when I cut my willows  it was just before we had snow in Hampshire which lasted several weeks and the willows lost their flexibility,  This year, having learnt a lesson, I am cutting the willows as I need them for a structure.  I have started a willow hooped fence in the edge of one side of the plot to support the dog roses. The hoops are six feet high and they will frame the dog roses as well as support them.  When the rain abates I will weave a wattle band across the top and bottom of the hoops  to strengthen them and may be create a design for the center of each hoops also from willow. 

My Christmas "book stocking" contained Jim Long's book about making trellises gates and fences from bentwood,  A great book with easy directions on how to make different structures.  It is a books that has inspired me to be more adventurous about how I use my willows and other wood.  I will be raiding my dead hedge for gate posts and bracing struts for my new Arch  When the rain and gales eventually fade away in Southern England  I will be making a gate, trellises, and an arbor for growing sweet peas and climbing beans.  I made one last year which worked well but as the willow was brittle it had to be supported  in places by bamboo as it sagged under the weight of the beans.  This year I will use side braces and cross struts then it should last for three or more years. Oh that  sounded almost professional!    I hope to start work on the arbor in the next few weeks once the soil is a lot less soggy than it is at the moment and I wont sink ankle deep into mud. In the meantime I I will work on the the fences and the gate.  

Other jobs I will get on with over the next few weeks is putting in new post and wire for my loganberry and post and wires for the grape vine. I grew this  from a cutting and it is now big enough  to be set in its position by my shed, yet.another screen for my plot, this time around my sitting area. 

I am becoming a recluse?  Err yes it seems so.  Being shut off from other plots by the community plots'  second ugly Poly tunnel was awful . However it is also means that I can quietly grow my herbs trees,  flowers and vegetables in my own style, and nurture the birds bees, butterflies, insects and amphibian in peace.  I am creating a lovely haven but also social spaces to share, with friends,  and drink Rooibos tea blended with fresh picked herbs.  Sunny days  for Pops dog and I to look forward to in my retreat by the sea  - soon I hope!

With Reiki Blessings

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