Willow in the Garden


In recent weeks, terrain's nursery team got into the spring spirit by weaving with willow shoots to craft natural structures that ranged from garden walls to rustic baskets. Our favorite willow creation came in the form of tall topiaries that will continue to grow as spring turns to summer. As evidenced by our snapshots from the greenhouse, the possibilities for shapes, styles, and embellishments are abundant, and these tips from our resident willow expert Meredith L. will help you kickstart your own projects for the garden.

Before weaving, place your willow in water and store in a warm location until it roots. Rooted branches are easier to plant for topiary.

When planting your willow branches, pack the soil very firmly so the topiary doesn’t shift.

“Think in threes”—make an easy triangular trellis by braiding or twisting three columns of willow and tying them together at the top.

To make the base of your topiary even, place a bucket, log, or pot in the center of the planter and space the branches around it.

Don’t panic if your willow wilts at first. Some leaves might die off, but with sufficient watering and patience hardy willow branches will rebound.

Keep your willow warm. House topiaries inside until the weather is consistently warm for best growth. In late spring, they can be planted directly in the garden.

Want to learn more? This April, designer Shane Powers will visit both of our stores for willow weaving demonstrations. Find details of the where and when on our Styer's and Westport event pages.

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