Crt Jakhel wrote:Hi, we've had such a structure, just like the one in your photo. It's not at all hard to make.
Two things to be aware of:
- willow roots easily and grows vigorously, so you'll need to prune - tie - shape your dome often
- ants love willow but tend to lose their footing ... they will dive-bomb you as you relax in what you intended to be your oasis of tranquility :)
Andrea Locke wrote:Once my basket willows get a little bigger I have several live willow-weaving projects in mind. Woven willow archway and braided willow 'trees' in pots, for starters.
Crt Jakhel wrote:So what makes sense is for the OP to not only check exactly what kind of willows to use but also whether locally there are circumstances that make ants run around in willows.
jason holdstock wrote:Inspired by "The Willow Bank" at Ragmans Lane Farm in the UK I planted two circles of Salix Viminalis to make a dome which I'm told is a shrub not a tree so will not get huge.
They use a stretchy tie cord at junctions to get the crossed branches to fuse in time.
We used a non stretchy garden twine because the stretchy stuff is pricey and we already had some twine.
We had already planted about 1800 of those willows to coppice for firewood so had spare cuttings.
Mulch mat was used because close planting makes suppression of grass and weeds tricky without hitting your willows.
It is quite windy here. I planted some really long cuttings to form the dome on day one, hoping to get the rest to be trained into the same shape.
The shorter ones almost all took, but the big ones, a foot into the ground like the rest, struggled.
A steel pin was pushed/whacked in first to make a hole for the cutting, then firmed all round once in.
Where the long ones were tied high up quite a few just snapped.
The rest and longer survivors now need quite a bit of work to train, trim and tie them again with stretchy twine to get the right shape,
I think the floor inside is about 4m/12' diameter, with cuttings spaced about a foot. Planted straight up or diagonally depending on the required structure.
Crt Jakhel wrote:A willow arch(-way) is also easy to make. But .... you may want to consider constructing it with climbing roses. If you do, explore the ones that can do with a low- or no-spray approach and flower throughout the season. Scent is a bonus of course. (Kordes Laguna is one such rose for example - just to give you a starting point. I consider helpmefind.com a very good source on rose cultivars.)
If your area is super wet, I guess it's more appropriate to stick with the willow in the sense of avoding a "why I am rolling this boulder up this hill" flash of realization after a number of years.
Trace Oswald wrote:I love the idea and find it quite beautiful, but I would be very concerned in this climate with mosquitoes. Weeping willows here seem to be one of the preferred homes of mosquitoes, and millions of them gather under the branches. I would think that closing the top would create the same kind of warm, humid environment that mosquitoes thrive in.