Willow cathedral in Taunton

I was very excited to see that a Willow Cathedral has been built in Taunton. I’ve been ready about Marcel Kabler’s creations in Germany for years.

Glyncoch Community Garden

We’ve just come back from a sunny day in the valleys, where we built a willow dome in Glyncoch Community Garden.

Living Willow Sculpture – Man walking dragon

I’ve rounded off the living willow season with a sculpture I’ve called “Dim Cwn”. It is a man walking a dragon in Maesyderi playing field in Lampeter. The sign on the gate says “Dim Cwn”, which means no dogs, so I thought they couldn’t complain about a dragon!

More photos in the gallery.

Basketry Willow Harvest

I’ve started harvesting some of our basketry willow, and for the first time this year I’ve started advertising our cuttings on eBay. Don’t they make a colourful bunch.

Added Basketry and Ornamental willow

I’ve added the ornamental and basketry willow varieties to the site – click here.

Ysgol Ponrhyfendigiad Living Willow Dome (3m wide)

Along with the pupils and teachers we’ve just completed at 3m living willow dome at Ysgol Ponrhyfendigiad – that’s 40 children we managed to fit inside.

Willow Heart

Here’s a dried willow sculpture I made for Lisa’s Xmas present (Ahh!). I’ve used Flander’s Red (salix alba x fragilis) which has a slightly wazy feel so is a real pleasure to weave. It has dried a lovely orangey red colour.

Ysgol Cwrtnewydd – Living Willow Play Area

Along with the pupils and teachers at Ysgol Gynradd Cwrtnewydd and a good showing from the parents, we created the largest play area we’ve attempted yet: A large tunnel enclosing a 5m area with three off-shoot tunnels and domes and using 1100 rods. It’ll look like a large spaceship when it finally turns up on Google Maps! We managed to get all of this finished in three very cold days.

There is also a gallery page with more images here.

Living Willow Maintenance

The willow will be dormant soon, so I’ve put together a list of maintenance tasks to keep your structure looking tip-top and not reverting to becoming a small grove of willow trees!

I’ve put the information on a new page here.

Organics Apple Day 2009

We’ll be having our first ever willow based stall at Organics Apple Day on Saturday Oct 10th at 11am until 3am.

From the Organics site:

“It’s apple and pear time of the year. In our shop we are now selling a wide range of UK produced apples and pears. To celebrate this year’s apple harvest, in conjunction with the local Permaculture Group we are organising an APPLE DAY. This year it will be held on 10th October at our shop in Lampeter, from 11am to 3pm. A local apple and tree specialist will be attending and we aim to have a range of local products and producers to help us celebrate. Hope you can join us.”

Our Account of the day: Living Willow Wales (me and Lisa) did our first willow stall back on Oct 10th 2009 at the Lampeter Apple Day, and lots of fun it was too! Getting everything together was hard work but it seemed to be appreciated. And we even had enough space to put up all of the willow letters we had made. I was a little worried about this as although planned to be smaller our letters ended up each being about a foot high. We put on a little mini workshop for the children by bringing along a couple of Rose’s small table and chairs and providing paper, charcoal pencils (willow of course), willow rods and various willow shapes to copy. Rose did get a little territorial at one point and excluded all other children from the stall by building a barricade of chairs – she’s such a sales women! Several children where running around with willow wands (a simple willow star shape) by the end of the day. We also brought along samples of eachof the different kind of willow that we grow. We’re mainly using and selling the fast-growing structural willow (Viminalis and a viminalis x triandra) at the moment but are building up our stocks of various ornamental and basketery willow. The Salix Ethroflexuosa being the most visually impressive, being corkscrewed and bright red. We had lots of interest in the photos we’ve got of some of the amazing things people have done with willow especially Marcel Kalberer. I wouldn’t say we’ve done anything truly amazing yet, but I’m quite excited about the 40ft space ship we’ve got planned this winter!

As well as us, and apart from the appley things going on (people could bring there apples for pressing), Gary was there with his Maesyffin Mushrooms – loved the pate; a local shoe maker; a miller with flour created using one of the few genuine water mills still in operation; Transistion Lambed; and a couple of other stalls I didn’t get chance to look at.

So with the great weather, all in all a great day out.