we have been cutting our new willow beds today and are very pleased with the crop. we have plenty of strong growing Flanders Red rods that will be great for some of the living willow tunnels that we are building tomorrow and next week.
there is a patch that is bare at the moment. the soil is very shallow and on top of solid rock but a few experimental plantings last year have survived. these were willow rods planted as hoops, with both ends in the ground to prevent the rods drying out before they could make some roots. they seem to have worked quite well so we will be planting more this weekend. the only other problem is calves reaching over the fence and nibbling the new growth. we have a 'stand away' strand of wire in front of our sheep fencing which prevents the big cattle from reaching into the willows but the calves can get under. guess i'll have to put up another lower strand of wire.
we still have a few dates available for living willow projects if there is anyone starting to think about a structure in their school garden or playground.