A couple of winters ago,after a basket making course run by Fenlander, I collected some cuttings of osier (Salix viminalis) to create my own willow bed or ‘holt’ in my garden as a handy supply of rods for future projects.The cuttings were 8-10″ long and about finger thick.The top is cut flat across and the bottom angled. This makes pushing them into the ground easier and helps you get them the right way up!To make the holt I ,firstly,laid layers of cardboard on the ground held down and edged with logs.Holes were made through the card and the cuttings pushed in.The whole area was then thickly mulched with bark,wood chippings,sawdust and grass clippings. As the bed is next to my firewood processing area it receives regular top ups- however it has still needed occassional weeding to help the willow establish.
Here is the holt in its second spring. I’ll make my first cut this winter and hopefully next year the stumps will throw up multiple stems which I can use for basket work.
Here are two frame baskets, which I made on Fenlander’s course, and a couple of simple trays/pot stands.