Natural plant supports.

Fence for Artichokes

It is that time of year again when a lot of Willows and Dogwoods need pruning. As we like to use as many natural and local materials as possible, we decided to use the prunings to make plant-supports. Our Artichokes and Cardoons grew very big last year and some of them blew over on a windy day. So a low, strong fence to go around the bed was on our wish list.  As we wanted it to last for more than one year, we used Bamboo canes as the uprights. Last year we made a few supports and used willow for the uprights, but even turned upside down, they rooted and had to be moved in the autumn. We put the uprights in quite close, about 20 centimeters apart. You need an uneven number of uprights. We then wove long straight Willow rods round and round for about 8 centimeters, left a space and wove another section higher up.

Willow fence


To finish off the top and make it extra strong, we used a slightly different technique, using two rods at a time and twisting them together as many times as possible between each upright. The Dogwood has very pretty colours so we used them as both a decorative and practical edge.

 Fence detail

For our perennial flower borders we decided to use some bushier prunings of Dogwood as natural plant-supports. If they root, we will end up with a lot of new plants in the autumn, ready to give away to friends or plant elsewhere in the garden. If they don’t root they will still have served us well as supports and can go on the compost heap at the end of the season.

planting and willow

planting and willow 014

We also planted some evergreen spring flowering Clematis recently, that we picked up in a sale. As clematis love sun but like to have their roots in shade we made a small basket like willow structure to go around the base of each one.

Clematis support.

 One of our cats was adamant to be included in today’s photographs so here goes…

Tea at fence.

Whole bed and Tea.

Tea in action.

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