Willow

We have been blessed with rain, this spring, so much of it that you could encounter a long lost bog at any point through a walk in the wood.  The willow cuttings I received in mid March, from Dunbar Gardens, have been hold-up in my fridge, faking dormancy and hoping to keep them viable for what I have been waiting for, for some time time- to be in a place where I could commit to planting a row of willow for coppicing.  I will tend to this copse, carefully, in the first year so that the cuttings don't have to compete with grass and the like.  I will tend to this planting, getting to know the willow and how it grows before weaving a basket.  I want to get to know each variety, and the qualities- color and width and length of cane.  Watch each cane leaf out and learn what will like to hide among the thicket as the willow grows- which birds will this copse attract?  What other critters will wander through...  I will watch for the leaf fall and the time I will need to cut each cane the first year.  I have wanted to tend a willow bed since weaving my first willow basket at a traditional skills gathering called Saskatoon Circle.  I feel it is important to be a part of the whole process and to learn from the willow, as she grows. 

I look forward to the stories that will unfold through the tending, the harvest and the weavings.

I am so grateful for this beautiful place, so grateful to be a part of it and the possibilities of sharing this with others brings me joy in my heart.

Walk in Beauty

Sweet cuttings from Dunbar Gardens, slightly rooted from being in water for a few days prior to planting

Sweet cuttings from Dunbar Gardens, slightly rooted from being in water for a few days prior to planting

8 varieties (in groups of 5) were planted on April 18, 2018, 5 for basket making and 2 for living willow structures and 1 for showy, silvery winter-time pussy willows. There is room in the row to add from the first year's cuttings maybe 3-4 more groups of 5. Stepping into the beginning of a long relationship :) So Grateful  2018 Winter update:  It is the last part of December 2018 and I am thrilled to  have 5 small bundles of my first cuttings drying in the yurt.  I decided to harvest very shortly after the leaves fell, so the buds wouldn’t swell too  quickly in this warm weather we’ve been having, here in the PNW.   Thought I’d post some photos here of my first willow harvest 2018!

8 varieties (in groups of 5) were planted on April 18, 2018, 5 for basket making and 2 for living willow structures and 1 for showy, silvery winter-time pussy willows. There is room in the row to add from the first year's cuttings maybe 3-4 more groups of 5. Stepping into the beginning of a long relationship :) So Grateful

2018 Winter update:

It is the last part of December 2018 and I am thrilled to have 5 small bundles of my first cuttings drying in the yurt. I decided to harvest very shortly after the leaves fell, so the buds wouldn’t swell too quickly in this warm weather we’ve been having, here in the PNW. Thought I’d post some photos here of my first willow harvest 2018!

Willow copse 2018
1st Willow harvest 2018
Beautiful Willow to cure and weave!