Unwins Seeds

Woven willow plants - easy, stylish and great for your garden

02 June 2016 | Posted in Gardening by The Unwins Family

These beautiful woven-willows featured at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year and they looked stunning. Here are just some of their amazing attributes:

  • Quick to establish
  • Fully frost-hardy
  • Plants won’t outgrow your garden – trunk remains at a manageable 50cm (20in)
  • Choose whether you want a ‘loose-leaf’ look or a ‘tidy topiary’ look
  • Permanent plants with lovely leaves that come back year after year

You can create a show-worthy display in your own garden with these wonderful willows whether you choose to grow them as trees or handy and attractive hedging.

 

HERE'S HOW!!

Mini-trees for your flowerbed

WW tree in flowerbedCreate small yet permanent trees that form the mainstays of your flowerbeds and effective natural structure.

  • Choose to position the willow wands® as focal-points in your flower bed, planting your wands at least 1m (36in) apart.
  • Fluff up soil surface where you plan to plant, and incorporate a little compost (multi-purpose or John Innes No. 3).
  • Insert the wands into the soil to a depth of 15cm (6in) and firm into the soil.
  • Remove the green buds from the bottom of the wand, working upwards, leaving the buds at the top 10cm (4in) of the wand. These will develop into a lollipop of leaves. Continue to remove the green buds throughout the season.
  • Trim the branches at least twice throughout the summer. For a denser, more compacted crown prune the branches to 8-10cm (3 ½ - 4in). For a more natural, looser look prune branches back to 15-20cm (6-8in).

 

 

 

 

 

Effective container trees

WW in containerThis is great if you want to create an effective entrance. Planted in containers on either side of your door you’ll create a formal, sophisticated and lovely look and you don’t even need a garden!

  • Choose two identical containers and place on either side of a doorway.
  • Fill with John Innes No. 3 compost to around 5cm (2in) from the top of the container.
  • Plunge in the wand to a depth of 15cm (6in).
  • Maintain as you would if grown in flower beds (described above), ensuring that soil never dries out.

 

 

 

 

Handy hedging

WW hedge by doorHedging is both attractive and handy. A hedge can protect low-growing bedding and crops including fruit bushes from the wind. A willow hedge will also provide a natural boundary for your garden.

  • Add bulky compost to the area of soil you plan to plant your willow hedge.
  • Insert the wands into the soil to a depth of 15cm (6in) and firm into the soil.
  • Plant the wands at a distance of 60cm (24in) apart. The leaves will knit together to form a line of leaves and a handy hedge. For a tighter knit of leaves plant wands a little closer together.
  • Trim the branches at least twice throughout the summer. For a denser, more compacted crown prune the branches to 8-10cm (3 ½ - 4in). For a more natural, looser look prune branches back to 15-20cm (6-8in).

If you want to create a 'hedge on stilts'- remove the green buds up the wands, leaving the buds at the top 10cm (4in) of the wands. If you want a dense hedge, don't remove green buds.

Please check for nesting birds when pruning hedges in summer.

 

 

TOP TIPS FOR ONGOING SUCCESS

  • If you can’t plant the wands straight away, pop stems into a bucket filled with 10cm (4in) of water for a maximum of 7-10 days.
  • Plant in partial shade and soil that is always kept moist. Avoid dry, sandy soils and be sure not to let containers dry out.
  • For mini trees and handy hedging - do not allow to dry out
  • Trim in early August for the last time before winter.
  • Trim in early spring each year before bud burst to encourage new growth.
  • If wands are exposed to heavy wind, be sure to trim the stems more often.
  • Do not remove buds above the 'wrap-around' collar at the top of the wands.
  • Feed with a general purpose fertiliser after 2-3 months after planting.

 

 

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