For our first “meeting” of the New Year, which was on Wed 4th February, the Beech Gardeners (BGs) went to Eastbridge Willows at Crondall, where we were instructed on making a willow weave planter. We assembled at 1.15pm at the Beech Village Hall and 12 of us drove there, finding Crondall quite easily, but had a little difficulty in finding the venue. Eventually we did and met Anna Kirsch who welcomed us into her beautiful barn-style work room. Outside there were rows of willow stems and twigs in the most beautiful mixture of colours from orange and yellow through to green and brown.
Anna started off showing us how to make 11 holes in a circle through the bottom of a cardboard “banana” box and standing the thicker stemmed stems through the holes and tying them together at the top.
We then used thinner twig-like stems to start weaving round the uprights, joining thin end to thin end and thick to thick, etc. When we had done a band about 4in high we then did another band in the middle, starting with a different kind of weaving. At the top where the string was Anna showed us how to bind round and round all the twigs, hiding the string under the binding. Then it was just a matter of tidying it all up with secateurs and hey-presto a willow-weave planter.
Anna very kindly brought out tea and coffee and her own home-made rock cakes – delicious. After our sustenance we continued our weaving with renewed vigour and gradually we all finished. We squeezed them into our cars for the homewards journey and all in all we had a really good, instructive afternoon out. Thank you Sarah and Helen for organising it.
Below is a gallery of some of the photos of our labours –
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