DREAMING ABOUT SPRING, THINKING ABOUT WILLOWS

What better than thinking about spring on a dark dreary day in mid January.

Growing willow is one of the most satisfactory things to grow in your garden, they grow quickly and easily, and they are useful every year once they are runner established.

Even if you do not plan to use them for Basketry, they are invaluable for gardeners. Every year they provide stakes for tying up your runner beans tomatoes and cucumbers, your perennials which fall over and to make fences to keep off dogs etc..

There are many different types of willow, willow trees that grow huge and in Europe they pollard (cut back} the top of the stumps every year to use as first year shoots.

For baskety and most gardening we use shrub willows. They can grow very tall, but they are cut back every year as the first year shoots are what we need. Second yet shoots have branches Which gets in the way and have to be cut off.

There are many different types of willows, different colours and different sizes. The easiest and least expensive way to get your willows is to buy them as cutting. They can be rooted in the ground, or rooted in water and then planted in the ground.It is important to keep them well watered when starting.

It is a fallacy to sit believe that they have to be kept with when they are full-grown. They prefer to be kept well watered but they will survive quite well in any situation, but they do like to be in the sun for at least half a day. Plant the cuttings about 18 inches apart and keep the weeds and grass done until they are well grown. Many people use black plastic to cover the ground. There are two nurseries I know of in Canada, who so cuttings in the spring. Take a look at the catalogues and dream of the spring and growing your own willows in your garden. You do not need a lot of space for a few willows.

WHERE TO FIND WILLOWS

Lakeshore Willows Wainfleet, Ontario. lakeshorewillows@gmail.com

Bluesgtem Nursery,Kootenay Boundary, B.C. bluestem.ca