Uses of Willow in the Garden & Living Sculptures

Uses of Willow in the Garden & Living Sculptures

Willow boat

Interest in Willow has revived over the last few years and there are many garden uses.

Decorative Uses

  • Royal Horticultural Gardens at Harlow Carr have several living willow sculptures. The fine boat shown above is an example that entertains the kids who visit. A bit big for my garden.
  • Narrow Willow hedges can be used to separate ‘garden rooms’.
  • Tunnel type structure made of sticks of living willow can create a unique feature.
  • Children will enjoy making and playing in wigwams, domes and tunnels.
  • More advanced projects, suitable for adults, include fences, chairs and arbours.

Book Cover

DVD Making Living Willow Sculptures

Practical Uses of Willow

  • Willow weaving can make Trugs or baskets for use in the garden.
  • A natural hedge from woven willow suits some sites, if used as a wind break it is called a ‘fedge’.
  • Willow can now be grown for green bio-mass fuel.
  • Traditionally Willow is used for cricket bats, charcoal, furniture and medicine.
  • The bark contains growth hormones and can be used to make a simple extract that will promote rooting and cutting growth.

Varieties and Uses of Willow

  • Salix Viminalis Gigantea Very fast growing – long and straight.
  • Good for large structures, windbreaks, hurdle uprights etc.
  • Salix Triandra Viminalis Very fast growing – long and straight.
  • Good for Large structures, Windbreaks, hurdles
  • Salix Dasyclados Very vigorous slightly shorter but thicker than Viminalis.
  • Suitable for structures, windbreaks, fuel production.
  • Salix Tora or Jorr Very vigorous growth – Swedish, Suitable for structures, windbreaks and fuel production.
  • Salix alba Vitelina Ornamental golden willow, Suitable for hedging, windbreaks and basketry.
  • Salix Triandra Black Maul Warm chestnut brown colour Suitable for hurdles, basketry and weaving in to structures for colour.
  • Salix Triandra Q83 Super Willow- (hybrid of viminalis and triandra) has the vigorous growth of viminalis with the weaving qualities of triandra. Attractive medium brown stems, catkins.Suitable for hurdles, basketry and weaving into living structures.
  • Salix Purpurea Leentges, Nicholsonii Purpurescens or Helix Suitable for basketry and hedging.
  • Salix Purpurea Abbeys or Dicky Meadows, Suitable for basketry.

List of varieties from Willow Withies


One thought on “Uses of Willow in the Garden & Living Sculptures

  1. I have grown the twisted willow for years and the bare twigs look quite stunning in flower arrangements or growing in pots.

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