ISSUE 13  |  Rite of Spring

Wind in the Willows

March 27, 2012 10:30 AM

BY Justine Hand

Share This:

Before big garden centers and mega-stores, gardeners made fences and plant supports out of what was at hand: bent wood.

Flexible willow, hazel, and other pliable twigs can be fashioned into a staggering array of all-natural garden accessories that blend beautifully into a landscape. Graceful and eco-friendly (they're biodegradable), the structures are a staple in English gardens, functioning as plant supports, fences, or edging for a flowerbed.

Above: Woven hazel fencing on chestnut posts. Image via Walnuts Farm. For a similar effect, consider the Critter Screen from Terrain; $78. The Willow Farm in Pescadero, CA, supplies custom fencing and shade panels.

Above: Architectural but still rustic, obelisk plant climbers provide a dramatic vertical element. A set of three Maypole Supports are £40 at Period Garden; the Braided Vines Obelisk is $88 at Terrain; Hazel Obelisk is £30 at Natural Fencing.

Above: As seen in the garden of Isis Sturtewagen, even snug urban gardens can acquire a romantic feel with willow edging and baskets. Similar Woven Willow Hurdle; £11.95 at Primrose. (For more images of this home, see Design Skool: Isis Sturtewagen.

Above: For a completely integrated look, living willow fencing quite literally grows with the rest of your garden. Image via Lakeshore Willows.

Above: Create a magical passageway from one area of your garden to the next using a series of Living Willow Arches; £130 per arch (including installation) at Natural Fencing.

Above: A handcrafted Hazel Trellis by artist Clare Harris is £25 at Hen And Hammock.

Above: Hide unsightly compost with a Hazel Compost Screen; £54.99 at Crocus.

Above: If seized by the DIY urge, you can follow Live for Gardening's step-by-step instructions to make a willow obelisk.