Friday, 21 November 2014

What's it like to be a flower grower in winter?

The Tuckshop Garden in winter
Brrrrr…….. Luckily this is not the scene just yet….

I was recently asked by Modern Mint, a Essex-based landscape gardening company and curators of garden writing, to contribute a guest post to their blog on this topic.

So for this week's blog entry, we need to wander over to their site…. (click here)

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Wreath making: Willow from the wigloo

Christmas is coming and the wigloo's getting hairy…..

All ready to donate supplies to the wreath making workshop

So it was off to join the Friends of Cotteridge Park on one of their weekly Sunday morning maintenance missions to tame the sproutings.  With loppers and secateurs in hand, Judith, of Pollen Floral Joy, and I squelched over the boggy grass to do some serious snippage in the late autumn sunshine.  Yes we are kind ladies, but not entirely altruistic ones.  We wanted willow, and we wanted lots….  Why?  To twist into wreath bases just in time for Christmas…. 

I've just signed up for another Christmas market, so its time to get twisty with those supple willow wands, and make circlets of the lovely green, flexible stems.  Some will have dried ingredients added, some might get mossed, and some might just get sprayed and glittered - a range of fates await them…

Working with willow is quite addictive as it is so versatile.  Bending and twisting the wands back into tidier tunnel and igloo shapes was incredibly satisfying.  After an hour of chopping and twisting, the wigloo looked a little tamer but it has filled my head with ideas of woven shelters for my own garden.  Maybe I'll stab a few willow whips into the ground and see if they take root of their own accord...

Lots of willow from the wiglooChopping for the willow stockpile in readiness for wreath makingHard to change gear with this lot in place

Heaven knows we came back with plenty of them!  Plenty to go round for my wreath workshops. I've already turned some into bases of various sizes ranging from the tiniest dolls house front door wreaths (napkin rings??) to monsters of about 80cm in diameter.