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A Willowy Day of Weaving and Springshine

What a wonderful sight of baskets to come...

I went off and picked up my willow order from PH Coate in Somerset on Saturday.  It is sooOOooo exciting to have all of this ready and waiting to be prepared for baskety action!  I've now got a good selection of brown, steamed and buff willow.  

I spent Sunday pottering in the garden and trying to make it collie proof.  Which is impossible actually but I have to try.  I snuck away with some Lime tree cuttings someone had left in the gutter a month ago.  Finally I've found a good use for them!  I'm going to extend the height of our little gate with a hurdle.

I poked two of the Lime sticks into the ground the exact width apart that my gate is.  I then bent them over and wrapped them round each other to make the arch.

I poked a few more of the Lime sticks into the ground, tying them onto the arch with a bit of string.  

Then I took some of my pre-soaked willow (that had dried out, but still had a bit of bend in it) and did a pairing weave using two withies to hold all of the sticks together and give the hurdle it's strength.

Then I started to fill-in the gaps with some old pre-soaked (and only ever so slightly bendy now they're almost totally dried up!) steamed willow, using a normal in-out slew weave (I used two withies at a time).

It's not finished yet, I'll post up more pics as I go along and finally get it on the gate below.
I managed to get up a couple of hurdles to fill in the gaps either side of the gate using some willow I grew myself a couple of years ago.  Lots of lovely colours.  To see them properly you may have to click on the pic to make it bigger.

Willow didn't even notice they were there and jumped up and crashed into one!  It didn't fall over and stopped her escaping - result!

This is a little orange tree that was a gift to me one christmas a few years ago.  I got a little christmas tree decoration from PG over at Middle of Nowhere this christmas past and loved it so much I hung it on my orange tree, where it will stay.  I wanted to share it with you all as I think it's a great plant decoration!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend and thank you for the kind words about the Foraging Basket!! :)



  1. Don't the bundles look lovely all standing like soldiers.....if you think you can 'churn' out these hurdles let me know, I get quite a few enquiries from customers....

  2. Hi There, have been following your blog with great interest. The bundles of willow look so wonderful. Have been looking locally in my area for a basket workshop, but without much success. I have always had the desire to learn the craft. Your baskets are beautiful. Warm Wishes Julie :)

  3. What lovely bundles! Can't wait to see what you make with them. :)

  4. The bundles would not look out of place as an installation at the Tate (and a heck of sight nicer). I thought the bird was an orange until I looked closer!
    We have an ash sapling growing out of our doorway, every year it throws up long twigs, and every year we cut the darned thing back, because it is so deeply rooted in the wall we daren't chip it out.

  5. It looks like a very fun and creative project. I look forward to seeing how it all comes together.

  6. What an inspired way to collie-proof your garden - practical and beautiful! Love it!

  7. That's crazy beautiful Hen! We've been talking a great deal about gates and screens that are woven so it's wonderful to see what you posted here!

  8. I love all the colors of those willow bundles. Amazing how much variety there is. Thats a great idea for your gate, I bet it is quite a challenge to collie proof that kind of stuff, they are sneeky pups.

  9. Sarah! What a fabulous idea! I don't know about churning out, but give me a few months and maybe I'll be a bit faster and have a few set designs I can bosh out! :)

    Pussy Cats and Angels - Hello! There's a course by the AMAZING Mary Butcher at West Dean College nr Chichester. 08444994408 If I'd known about this I would have booked myself onto it. She has written the book I use the most. It might be a bit tight to get on this one but you could maybe enquire abuot others. :)

    Hello Ambermoggie!

    I've still not finished it mara!! The rain and wind is putting me off. I need a shelter!

    I'll 'ave them handles, erm , sorry, ash sticks if you don't want them!

    Natural Moments, I look forward to seeing that too!

    Rebecca, 'collie-proof' Is it OXYMORON that describes that sort of term? :)

    Annie, :) thanks!

    Dowhatyoulove (Stacey!), These are all one variety of willow treated in a different way to get the different shades. There are hundreds of varieties of willow because they're a bit flirty and don't mind who they go with! I can't wait to grow my own again so I can get some of the whacky colours I used to have.


  10. Your in progress gate hurdle looks really good and some of those new willow bundles must be mine:) Thanks for the tip about West Dean, I've beenlooking for basketry courses too and know exactly where West Dean is - right next door to my beloved Weald and Downland Open Air Museum!


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