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Wicker Basket Plant Protection

Don’t you just hate it when your perennials collapse half ways the season? Mid winter or early spring I can’t wait to see my beautiful arranged flower beds to pop out of the ground for a new season of colorful surprises. They grow proudly till the first heavy rain or hail breaks the perennials and gone is the order. Multi-stalk perennials literally fall apart, stems flopping in every direction to expose the ugly bare center. It’s chaos. I know plants do that in nature and I whould just give in if I don’t want overpriced flower support structures or bamboo sticks sticking out all over my lovely garden.

I was desperate untill I watched the first episode of The Edible Garden with Alys Fowler. Here she explains how easy it is to create your own flower supports from willow twigs.

Now being a rather handy man and having a few willow trees in my garden I thought: “Let’s try and creating some of my own.”. I’ve designed these three types after what I saw. Type 1, the Whisk, has an open and flexible top to leave space for the perennial to grow within some borders. Type 2, the Basket, is exactly that, a basket, keeping the plant straight up. Type 3, the Fish Pod, is a trial for perennials that grow higher than 1,5 meter like Aster and Rudbeckia.

wickerbaskets

Since it’s winter time I have time on my hands to give it a first try and see how it goes. This step by step manual by Jonathan Ridgeon will help me get through the first basics.

It didn’t work out so smooth as I hoped it would. But this is the first basket I’ve made. More to come. Keeping you posted.

Home made Wicker Basket

My first home made Wicker Basket

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Dead Hedge

Homemade Dead Hedge

Homemade Dead Hedge

Today was fun. I’ve started building a dead hedge.

Why?

  1. I needed a storage for dead wood, branches and twigs that fall out of the trees or are cut away by pruning.
  2. I needed a ‘fence’.
  3. I needed a cheap solution for 1 and 2.
What did it take?
  1. Some BBC inspiration
  2. 1 large Hazel tree
  3. Neclected corner of the garden with dead wood
  4. 1 Saw
  5. 1 Soil-drill
  6. 4 hours
  7. 2 men
How did it work?

First I got inspired by the recent BBC Series: Tudor Monastery Farm. The first episode finds the farm team, Tom, Peter en Ruth arriving at Weald & Downland in West Sussex. Peter shows how to build a dead hedge from fresh cut hazel poles and  dead wood. Dead hedges are useful in habitat conservation and restoration ecology, as they offer shelter for small animals, especially birds and hedgehogs. It’s super organic gardening.

Then I thought… “I have got hazel bushes in my garden and lots of dead wood. It’s great weather and I’m with my friend Bart who enjoys a day of physical labour. Let’s just do it. It doesn’t hurt to try.” 6 hours later the dead hedge was a fact.

It’s rather a simple, almost mediaval way of making a fence. You cut minimal 5 cm thick straight uprising branches of a Hazel. Saw them into poles of 1,5 meter. Remove all smaller twigs and save them for the hedge filling. Drill 50 cm deep holes in the ground and place the poles somethng like 50 to 70 cm apart. Put the poles in the ground and start filling the space in between the poles with branches and twigs. The poles must be something like 1,5 meter from each  other.

dead hedge instructions

dead hedging

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