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Monday, 28 November 2016

Living Willow Sculptures making an Igloo

Living willow structures. Creating garden and park projects from living willow
living willow sculptures Igloo in summer

Creating living willow

Creating a living willow (Salix) sculpture is one of the most exciting projects you can do in your garden. Because this particular customer has children we decided to create something simple so they could take part in it's construction, and practical so they could have plenty of fun playing in it.
So we decided to build an Igloo.
Creating living willow sculptures in the garden or school-making an igloo

When should I make my Willow Igloo

This is a project that is best done over the winter months, when the willow has no leaves and is in it's dormant state. You can plant from the end of November until the end of March providing there is no frost.  This will give the willow a chance to develop a root system for the growing season in Spring and Summer. It is best not to plant after the end of March, as your willow may not do so well.
living willow Igloo sculpture kits for schools parks and gardens

Where can I get a Living Willow Kit

The Igloo you see here is now several years old, and the grass has now grown somewhat scraggly round the base. However when you first plant your willow you should remove all the turf in the  shape of the structure you want to create. Then dig in as much compost as you can to give your new willow a good start. The actual planting is then easy, simply push your willow canes into the ground. You should make sure that you keep the area around the new canes weed free. Some people put a heavy mulch or matting down to help with weed control. There are many willow growers who now supply kits. Our igloo was a kit which came with ready cut to length stems of fresh willow and a plan which was helpful. We got our kit from JPR environmental (follow link HERE ) There are other suppliers to visit and online for example Musgrove willow HERE or Yorkshire willow HERE
Picture of living willow igloo sculpture suppliers and kits
Picture of living willow igloo in summer

Caring for my Living Willow Igloo

Once established your willow structure will require minimal maintenance. However during the Summer it will grow vigorously in all directions. You should tie in any new shots that will make the structure thicker and stronger and use a sturdy pair of secateurs to trim excess growth back to it's original shape.
Picture of Living willow tunnel sculpture
Of course there are many ways to enjoy living willow. The structure pictured above is called The Cathedral. You could create an arbour, fence, windbreak, tunnel, indeed whatever idea you can come up with. Have fun!
General discussion and your views are welcome please say hello. I regret however because of my busy schedule, I am unable to answer many questions. Sneaky advertising will be deleted sorry. Thanks so much for visiting my blog today.

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