Willows Nursery Walgrave Northampton  NN6  9QA 01536 791371

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Willow 'Fedges'

IDEAS FOR PLANTING & GROWING A  LIVING WILLOW FEDGE

Information is set out below to show how easy it is to make simple criss/cross fedge structures.
(More detailed instructions are sent with the kits)

Please click on the ‘Fedge Gallery link on the left to see more photographs of Fedges.

Please go to the
bottom of this page to see the Fedge Kits we offer for sale.

Our Standard Fedge Kits are based on 6 inch spacing between whips - that is, one foot spacing between the whips planted on the same diagonal and then planting those on the other diagonal in between.

Allowing for 6 to 9 inches to go into the ground to root and depending on how steep the angle you plant the whips at, 6 foot long whips will give you a structure 4 to 5 ft high to the tips and
8 foot long whips will give you a structure 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 ft high to the tips.

BUT, as with all living willow ‘work’ there are no strict rules, so you might want to do something a bit different -  and here are a few ideas to help you.

Firstly, you might want to plant the whips further apart or closer together - just work out how many of which length of whips you need and order those.  You can leave the tips of the willow loose, or weave them together to make a flattened top edge to start with as above - but remember that you can weave in the new growth as it comes too, so your criss cross structure will become denser, and there will be top growth too which should easily double the height of the structure in the growing season - but this top growth should all be cut back in winter to the original height . . . . . . . . . . unless you want to use some of the whips to, say, create extra height with arches  . . . .   or circular ‘windows’ . . . . . . Or ? ? ?

At the end of the run of a Fedge you bend the last whips around an end post and back into the criss-cross pattern to complete it.  These vertical posts can be a thicker piece of willow, or any other post you might want (or it could be linked to a Living Willow Bower or Tunnel) . . .  or  . . .  you could make a twisted/plaited end post of several whips - the stems will eventually pressure graft together and they will root just as well as single whips.

A standard living willow dome with 4 x Fedge A Kits joined to the dome
to create an enclosed space - just planted

The ‘hedge’ at the back of this area of garden on the left is the same woven “fedge” as in the photograph on the right.  The first photograph shows full summer growth, the second shows growth back in the May. The unrooted whips were planted in the winter a few months earlier. After leaf fall the original pattern will be seen, and excess rods can be woven in or trimmed and used elsewhere.

We mainly sell long whips of  Salix Viminalis ‘Bowles Hybrid’ for living willow structures as it consistently provides long straight whips in one season's growth which are ideal for these projects.  However, if you would like to buy whips of some of our other varieties of willow please get in touch to check on availability - as we do not grow these in as great a quantity as the ‘Bowles Hybrid’ and in the case of Salix Candida and Salix Daphnoides Aglaia they need to be planted in the first half of the season before the catkins start growing. The Yellow stemmed Fedge shown at the top of the page is of Salix Alba Vitellina, showing new growth in mid-May having been planted in January. However, it should be remembered that this original wood will fade in colour and it will only be the one year old stems that have the brightest colour in the future.

Please e-mail or telephone if you have any ideas you would like to discuss.

If you do not want a dense living willow divide in your garden, but something more open, how about little arches joined together to make a scalloped appearance by pushing both ends of a willow whip into the ground - Yes ! Both ends will root ! See the photographs below.

Above, as planted in January.
To the right, showing new growth in early May.

It is best to cut the top tip of the willow off by about a foot as this gives a wider point to push into the earth. However, as you will see above using two whips together gives a better appearance and is easier to plant.  I cut the tips off as mentioned above and then held the two whips together but the opposite way around - that is, butt end (thick end) to tip end - then wound them around each other and then, still holding them together at the end, pushed each end into the prepared soil by about 6 inches.  I found that 7 ft long whips (then trimmed) would make arches about 18 inches high and 30 inches long - so an overlapping arched pattern as above would use 14 x 7 ft long whips (ie 7 pairs) to cover a 10 ft length.  But - again - this is not the only way . . . what would you like to make ?

 

We have the following living willow Fedge kits for sale

Fedge A ; Fege B ; Fedge C

Please click here to go to our prices page for full details including sizes.

Please see our FAQ page on the main part of
our website for further information and advice.

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