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Willow Fedging

essex, England Eng

This is more of a comments question really, i have been ponering for some time about what to do at the back end of my garden, as you can see from the pic, it is not exactly prompting you to walk up the end at the moment. the problems i have are a large concrete area infront of the shed, which is a bit like a stage, ideal to stand the greenhouse and water but on, but not an eye catching feacher! the arch is currently in the wrong place, needs to go over to the left a bit, and then we have the play house, which is now to small for my little girl who seems to have had a recent growth spurt and has to bend down to get through the door, not to mention it's a bit of an eye soar. obviously she still likes it, but i think i can replace it with something better.

anyway had a little think about this and found a web side that suplies DIY kits for willow tipi, which i think would be a great idea to replace this play house. but while looking i also found kits for Willow Fedging, or living fence made from willow canes. i really like this idea. i have already bought 2 trellis pannels which i intend to put on the left hand side of the arch - infront of the compost bins to hid them a bit, but i have been a bit miffed as to how to secure them on the other side in front of the greenhouse, as there is a lot of concrete, would be difficult to attactch them to the exsiting fence, and there is already quite a lot of concrete in this area, so would make it difficult to add another fence post in this area. so i was thinking how about the willow fedging on this side, acording to the web site it is easy to do and does'nt require being dug in deep.

ideal i am thinking, but obviously the web site is not going to point out any bad sides to it. i have never seen it before, so not sure if it a relatively new thing, or if there is a reason that it is not too popular. has anyone got it, or had it before? or know of any down sides, or point and tips on how best to do it? there is a gap of about 18"-2ft between the concrete and the base of my Acer tree, is this enough room for the roots? does it succer? any tips or advice would be much apreciated.




hello there mate i love your garden.i think its begging to be made into 2 gardens.maybe a kiddies one and a grown ups .the willow if not kept in check will grow into full grown trees in there own would have to keep on top of it i love it.they drink lots and have a very big root system.they realy can make buildings subside.if you want a willow you just go in winter about now while there doorment.look for some new growth ,cut it of and plant and my misses did it last winter and planted the twigs from the same tree over some common land near a river.when there bigger im going to fuse them together with some green electricians tape.then when we kick the bucket we want to be sprinkled there.they grew in one seasen a good 3 feet so not long can make willow living furniture bye training it.realy if you can bend a stem you can train it.if you look on my pictures i got a big head i made in the front garden.surounding it is 2 cherry trees,a willow and a eucalypt excuse my spelling .i have trained each up a leg of a kiddies swing i couldnt be botherd to dig the end when the woods thick enough im going to drill and pour salty water down the inside of the swing to rot it out.the trees have all bean trained up a leg each and over the top no peak summer i have to trim the trees maybe once a week which is what you will have to do without fail with your fence.i dont see it for sale here much but you could make your say cement.if its level you can bolt a post holder from a builders merchants and hold ya trellis ok.i see ying and yang in your garden or a hidden garden with maybe even a door way between of some sort.willow however doesnt send suckers at all.silver birch and poplers do that.i think the willow half way .hide the sheds etc mayb make bothe ends more cemetrical.circles are obvious.youl have more planting beds at least your end.maybe a couple of willow screens in front of the sheds etc.i hope ive could always bury down to level in the middle a kiddies trampoline and when there older pull it out and make a round water feacture.ill stop running on bye for now.

20 Nov, 2008


Thanks nosey potter, some really useful ideas, and yes the idea is to divide the garden in two, - my end and her end! lol but i still want her bit to look nice. i know that certain types of willow can be a pain, with the root system and size ect, it's not problem with trimming once or twice a year, but this web site i have seen sends you all the rods ready to assemble, do you think that this type of willow will still grow into trees? there are certain types of will that are not as thugish was hoping that they would send one of theses. and yes the original plan was to put trellis pannels both sides of the arch, but the other problem is the Acer tree in the corner by the greenhouse, i really love it and don't want to risk loosing it, but putting more cement, near its roots, there is the possiblity of attatching the trellis to the exsiting post for the fence, but it would not be easy, and not my fence. but if the will roots, even on these rods is going to get big, it wont work anyway as the acer tree is close by. i'll keep pondering.

21 Nov, 2008


i should realy perhaps a couple more acers

21 Nov, 2008


Actually there are so many different willows that it is hard to answer you. But WOW, what a nice garden.

I grow ARCTIC WILLOW -- SALIX PURPUREA NANA but that is more of a 6 ft. high ornamental plant. The form I have is even smaller.

My critic of your "also found kits for Willow Fedging, or living fence made from willow canes." It would first depend on the species. Most grow huge. Add to that I find they often are feasted upon by insects that then attract flickers and other woodpecker type birds. They eat out the bugs, girdle the tree and their it goes. Root system problem advice is also right on.

If you are only thinking of hiding the shed. Salix purpurea would surely fit the bill. It is deciduous though. I think I would consider some attractive evergreen tree instead. A dwf. Eucryphia? White blossems in the summer! It is a knockout tree.

22 Nov, 2008


Some people down the road have tried a willow fence and it isn't really working. They seem to have given up cutting it and it has got very wild and untidy.

I use bamboo as a screen. In one place, I have it planted in a large trough as it is on a hard standing and it thrives. Every now and again I take it out, hack a chunk of to use elsewhere and put the rest back with a bit of new compost and food. It is evergreen, very tolerant and the stems are a lovely yellow.

22 Nov, 2008


Bamboo. That is a great idea. I would recommend Fargesia, it is a NON-spreading bamboo and therefore pricey.
Here is a U.S. link but you get the idea. Certainly available in the U.K.

22 Nov, 2008


I would say avoid a willow fence like the plague...all for reasons mentioned above~ so I won't repeat except to say that one aspect of arctic willow that it is a bother in the garden ~~ their seed is carried on downy is like snow in spring...and the seeds will germinate in ANYTHING! standing water...puddles...rain water barrels...anything! Having had first hand experience I'd avoid it...and as suggested look for bamboo or some lovely evergreens or perhaps a weeping conifer (seen bluespruce's Nootka?) That would be a really good enticement to the back garden...what a focal point!!

22 Nov, 2008


~Thanks all some really useful advice i think i will follow, i like the bamboo idea, i would imagine it would go quite nicely with the large acer tree that is in the corner, a definate possiblity. but what about the Tipi for Brooke, instead of the playhouse, would this also cause the same problems? maybe i could make some sort of structure out of bamboo instead? i really like the idea of a living camp/hidihole, something that she can use for a few years to come and i don't have much money so needs to be something cheap to make, any other ideas?

22 Nov, 2008


Arctic willow, this is a problem with common names. Their many arctic willows. The Salix purpurea is a well behaved plant and certainly doesn't fluff her stuff around. purpurea nana is even dwarfer only growing some 4 ft. high.

This link takes you to my eBay listing, a gallon can (unsold at 4.5). This will probably be deleated soon.

I think the Fargesia is one good possibility. A weeping Sequoia might be another.

BTW, I am pitching to change me name to something I worked under for 20 years. Most people here in the States respond to Secateur with WHAT -- How do you spell it?
Not good when one asks friends to visit this site. I might re-appear as Skyline -- something everyone can spell.

22 Nov, 2008


Just a thought, MH, but your little lady won't be tiny forever and taking into account the rate at which some garden features mature...perhaps it's time to consider making her a "secret garden" at the back? with a bench and a little water feature (not hard to make and not necessarily expensive) with some lovely weeping trees or bushes to dream among?
I have two children...both men now...I would love to have a little girl to garden for and with...

23 Nov, 2008


Hi Lori, great minds think alike, i am just about to load some pic's i have moved the arch across and put my bench up at the far end, i am still thinking on the Tipi idea, it would make a nice hidihole for her to play in while she wants to, then an interesting feacher once she has grown out of it, and you never know i might one day have granchildren to play in it. also i have gone off the idea of fedging at the far end, now thinking and doing a bit of research into bamboo instead to cover the greenhouse, and the new trellis area in the woodland bed, i am going to create a secrite garden, i have put in place some stepping stones so that she can go into it, and i am going to put a few fariy houses ect at the back, maybe a few little lights to give it a magical feel. and i already have some decorations hanging in the tree above, and possiblity of a water feacher at some stage, so i had already thought of that idea, i like secrite gardens myself and Brooke does love to do a bit of gardening with me, so she can be involved with making some of it. and it is lovely to have a daughter, you never know Lori you may get some grandaughters to garden with at some stage, it was my nan that got me into gardening when i was four. we had some really special times in her garden together, memories i will always cherish!

23 Nov, 2008


bamboo is some things to all men and all things to some doesnt rot quite as easali as wood.the first edison light bulb eliment was made of bamboo.a tipee would be so cool with bamboo as it will be of use after your kiddies have grown up.bamboo is the second quickest growing plant on the planet second only to has 2000 seperate uses

24 Nov, 2008


ever seen pictures of the bamboo scaffolding used on construction sites it the far east? scarrryyy!!!

25 Nov, 2008


mmmmm more food for thought, but i have only ever seen bamboo either growing, - which is either clump forming - which would be no good to make a structure like a tipi, or it runners, which means i would have it all over my garden. or i have seen it as dry cains, that are very infexible. so proberly not good for a tipi, unless you can get a well behaved fresh stem/rod type for this sort of work. mind you i gues i could make something out of dryed cains, but like a tipi. i'll do some pondering.

25 Nov, 2008


you can cut the bottom out of a large bucket or old plastic tough bin.bury it and fill it up.then plant the running type of bamboo in it.the suckers are in the first few inches of soil.buckets tend to be bigger at the top than at the bottom so any suckers will have a tendancy to come out the can either just cut them of or get some pots to let them grow in .let them get astablished and cut them of and sell them.yellow bamboo is stunning if you dress it ie take all the leaves of from a certain hight has realy big canes about an inch or so thick eventualy.if you snip out all the skinny stems out it pramotes the thicker ones quicker

25 Nov, 2008


Thanks Leigh, i did know this about them but i think if i do go for bamboo for the back of the garden i will chose one that is clump forming, no my question is with regards now to the tipi have you any brain waves for me on that one? - i could always make some sort of structure from dried bamboo cains and then get climbers going up it, but i doubt it would be that sturdy, what do you think?

25 Nov, 2008

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