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Living Willow Domes  RSS feed

 
            
Posts: 8
Location: olympia
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Anyone have experience building living willow domes/huts?  How about tunnels or arbors?
Do you know of any of these structures in the Pacific Northwest?

http://www.englishbasketrywillows.com/lwstruct.htm

I'm hoping to install one of these magnificent bioforts for some neighborhood kids, and am seeking advice, resources and local examples.

Thanks!
 
Susan Monroe
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
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My brother said a man in Pahrump, NV, did some of that.  If he can do it in the desert, you can do it in the PNW.

I've heard it's quite easy:  take long sticks of fresh willow, stick it in the ground, keep it moist.  Bend and tie in the shape(s) you want, trim as necessary.

But it's not something that you can build and then walk away from.  You have to do maintenance pruning to keep it going the way you want.  If you don't, it just turns into a willow jungle.

Here's a site I found when I googled 'living willow structures':
http://www.bluestem.ca/living-willow-structures.htm



Sue
 
Nicholas Covey
Posts: 180
Location: Missouri/Iowa border
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I've wanted to do this with fruit trees, like apples or pears.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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i have several books that show how to do them..mostly it is stick the cuttings into the ground in the pattern you want..

but here..willows are basically a nuisance..we have so many of them..i wouldn't encourage more of them..unless maybe i had lots of kids to play in the tunnels or domes..

 
Leah Sattler
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grapes are good to create a little hidey hole for kids too if you aren't apposed to an arbor.
 
Nicholas Covey
Posts: 180
Location: Missouri/Iowa border
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Actually this is kind of what I wanted to do with my cedar and locust hedges. Maybe pile a row of earth-filled tires out of sight in the middle of the arch and then it's an effective sound barrier.
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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my grape hidey place
[/img]
much less invasive than willows
[/img]
and you can eat the fruit
 
Leah Sattler
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that is really cool brenda! my childhood home had a large arbor covering the back patio. it was loaded with grape vines and grapes. the only down fall was that when everyone was sick of harvesting grapes they just ended up making a mess on the patio. I have fond memories of peeling green grapes and convincing other kids they were eyeballs I took out of a cat
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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critters here will get them so fast you can barely pick them..the seedless ones out back are carefully watched !!
 
Gwen Lynn
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Brenda, the 2nd pic of the arbor is really excellent. Really gives me a feeling of being inside there!
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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thanks..
[/img]

it is a fun hidey place..
[/img]

the picture on the other thread was looking NW, above are SW and SE...there is a bench and a chair and table in there..as well as windchimes and birdfeeders..so it is actually a very fun place to be in the summertime when covered with grapevines..unfortunately a lot of our leaves froze this year...so it isn't as lush as it has been in past years.
 
                                  
Posts: 175
Location: Suwon, South Korea
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What a great idea.  They would make a great quick shadehouse to cool the air that enters the home, as detailed in Permaculture II.  The willow is its own trellis.
 
Leah Sattler
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for anyone one interested in doing this with something that grows on a trellis.......a stock panel arched over and anchored at the bottoms makes a fast cheap and sturdy arbor.
 
                              
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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Speaking of using fencing or cattle panels for arbors and such.......

or
 
                            
Posts: 22
Location: FL
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Ah that's cool TCLynx and Brenda, thanks for sharing pictures.

TCLynx, what are you planning to grow there?

Hey, cool you're from Florida too! Where about? I'm near Dade City.
 
                              
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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Ah, that's and old picture.  I've been growing all sorts of things in there.  The long tunnel with the gravel grow bed on the one side has had lots of different things growing in it.  The gravel grow bed is part of the Aquaponics system as are those beds under the taller shade structure where the pics were still under construction.

On the side of the long tunnel opposite the grow bed I have grown cucumbers and beans and tomatoes and melons and just about anything that needs a trellis.

In the Gravel beds I've grown all sorts of things.  Tomatoes, peppers, jicama, herbs, flowers, sweet potatoes, salad greens, collard greens, basil, and various other things.  The gravel beds are also very good for rooting some types of plants (bamboo has done well rooting for me in the Aquaponics beds.)

Yep, I'm in Central Florida.  Very North West Corner of Orange County near Mount Dora if you know where that is (I'm actually in Tangerine but few people know that one.)
 
rose macaskie
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Brenda Groth. What a pretty picture of a vine and what a pretty arbor.
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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was wondering what guage wire the panels are that you have been using TC? I have got an arch in the front yard..but that bugger was concrete reinforcement wire fence type stuff and i could barely bend it with my hands !!!
feet!!! Help from my son..etc !!

I would like to know of a guage that is easier to work with yet stable enough to hold a vine and also will last..i would like to do something similar to what you hvae there in a back garden area...used to use pvc hoops..but they aren't very sturdy.
 
Chris Kott
Posts: 836
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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bee forest garden fungi hugelkultur urban
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It sounds to me like the living willow structures we're talking about might be able to stand as a part of an outer envelope system for a WOFATI, or, say, rammed earth/compressed earth block/pisée, or anything that needs protection from direct exposure to rain. I think it should be possible to grow such an envelope in the presence of mature trees that could, say, help bear the load of a structure without adverse effect, and an integrated food, nitrogen-fixing, accumulator, and mulching guild should be easy to come up with to fully support the living structure. Or maybe a tent of waterproofing, pond liner perhaps, could be secured to the inside of the dome, and the inner structure could be completely independent of the living one.
I find this idea quite engaging, as it does address the issue of maintenance over time; with conventional structures, they wear, get damaged, and degrade, but if the structure, at least the part exposed to the elements, were alive and repairing itself and growing all the while, then all you have to remember to do is walk around with the hedge clippers once in a while. Brilliant! Imagine a no-maintenance structure.

-CK
 
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