A few weeks ago Rebeka Clark at Stave Hill Ecological Park mentioned that the willow hedge pictured below needed coppicing. The willow stems have put a heavy strain on the metal fence at the base of the pollarded willow after two years of growth that were periodically subjected to high winter winds.
So with the help of Tina Götschi and Jess Smulders-Cohen we started to cut down the hedge. We bundled up the shorter stems and used the longer ones to weave around the recently coppiced black thorn shrubs at the other end of the park. We did this in several stages, illustrated below.
It’ll be interesting to see what will grow between the bent willow stems as Spring marches on. I suspect the weaving will disappear from sight only to reappear again in the autumn. At that point more willow might be added to elevate the lacy ground willow pattern into low hedges. Plants growing within this network of willow stems and black thorn stumps might give the appearance of a knot garden, albeit a very loosely structured one. We'll just have to wait and see.