A couple of years ago I planted a willow hedge, and, predictably, it’s gotten rather out of hand.
In the spirit of turning my problem (excess willow) into its own solution, I decided to have a go at basket making.
I did make a basket once before, about 15 years ago. My main memory is of stripping holly leaves. I have no idea what happened to the basket.
I turned the trusty internet for instructions, and found this, which was far more comprehensive than I was hoping for, but at least gave me an idea of where to start (I never was much good at following instructions).
I got to this stage, then abandoned it for a week or two. When I returned, I decided the base wasn’t big enough, but the willow had dried, so the new willow looked rather oddly green next to it.
(If you’re doing it ‘properly’ I believe you let the willow dry, then soak it to make it pliable again. Given I wasn’t using my basket for catching small fish, I decided I could dispense with that step).
M finished basket wasn’t pretty. It was decidedly lumpy, wonky and barely even looked like a basket. The outer bits wouldn’t bend properly (ah – maybe that’s why you soak them) so there’s all manner of strange angles which you’d never see on a professional’s basket.
The best option was the brushing-it-under-the-rug strategy, otherwise known as putting-icing-on-top, or covering-your-basket-with-lavender.
I’ve given my ‘basket’ to a friend, who declared she was very pleased with it, and was going to hand it on the wall (very wise, especially as it doesn’t sit flat on a table). Perhaps it could be the base for a seasonal wreath?
In fact, perhaps I should dispense with the basket idea altogether and make circles that you can thread different things through at different times of the year?
Great that you’ve managed to produce something other than food, from what you’ve grown. I LOVE the idea of making circles to hang things on – would you be able to incorporate a hanging loop too ?
That is so cool! Love it! I wonder if I can grow willow in Australia…Would love to have a go at something like this!
Thank you both!
I have no idea if willow grows in Australia – I suspect having planted it I’ll never be rid of it! It does like being quite soggy though, so might not like too much sunshine (in my head the whole of Australia is baked in constant sunshine, although I’m sure that’s not really the case!)
I suspect my skill won’t extend to woven hanging loops – perhaps I’ll just tie ribbons to the top…