February 2013 Newsletter

Dear all,


Just a short willowy message today to remind you about the Living Willow Dome and Obelisk Workshop coming up soon (on Saturday 16th Feb).

In this course (which is new for 2013) you can get all the skills you need to build your own living willow dome and go home with a beautiful living obelisk to plant in the garden.
Learn all the techniques you need to make your own living willow dome, by helping build one here on the land at Blacksmiths Cottage. We will cover every stage from marking out, through planting, tying and weaving to final decoration. Everyone will learn and practice the relevant weaves and knots whilst making their own obelisk (to take home) and also have the opportunity for hands on experience on the actual dome.

This workshop is suitable for all, from complete beginners to seasoned willow workers. It will take place outside, so you will need to be dressed very warmly and bring gloves, boots and waterproofs. There will be plenty of hot drinks and a warming hot lunch, and a lot of the work is physical enough to get the blood pumping, but it is essential that you come well prepared.

There will also be the opportunity on the day to purchase all the materials you need to make your own at home. These 'kits' will be £85 - £100 depending on the size you require (2m or 3m diameter) and need to be pre-ordered. You will need an estate car, van or roofrack and straps to get your materials home or local delivery can be arranged at an extra charge of £20.

All the willow that we will be using is local and organically grown. If you would like to have the complete experience and harvest your own materials too, please do contact me to see if we can arrange a suitable time.

As usual, delicious vegetarian lunch, refreshments and all materials are included in the price of £70.


Inspite of the weather (and thanks to many layers of good clothing) we have managed to make a good start on the willow harvest. (Sat here at the AGA side of the kitchen table watching some rather horizontal sleet fly past the window, I'm rather glad I'm not down at the willow beds this afternoon! )

This year I have been helped by Stacey, James and Sarah, who are all staying with us as part of the Workaway scheme. The crop is huge. The rods are long and straight with very few sideshoots - just lovely. In fact, I think I might have to shift from handbags to log baskets this year to make the most of it! Do check out the Facebook page to see some of the gorgeous colours.

Keep cosy, and hope to see some of you very soon.



willow trio