We went to find a Willow Tree

| Foraging, Milkwood Farm, Rambling + Adventures | comments | Author :

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With weaving on our minds. Yet another use for this wonderful weed… 

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I knew the place where the best weeping willow stands – it’s up the creek and down a side rivulet that’s long since dried up.

It’s dry out here in the central west this Summer. Really freaking dry, in fact.

But this was a day to focus on the promise of green, not the crackling brown grass or the dry creeks and dams all around. In this landscape, sometimes willows are hope.

Green branches and leaves edible by stock when food is scarce. Great renewable stickwood for rocket stoves. A great mass of flexible strands, just waiting to be woven.

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The dragging home across the hills of a huge pile of willow branches was slightly less illustrious than their seeking and finding, so I left that part out. Just picture it in your mind.

But once we were home and fed and watered, the fun began.

The fabulous thing I learned about weaving willow wreaths this day is that it is really, truly easy.

Make a circle the size you want, twist the end of the willow switch around the beginning end. Repeat.

And there you go – you’re off and weaving!

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It was the need for a door wreath that we could complete with a Salt Dough decoration that sent us foraging.

But I rekon these willow wreaths deserve a place in the home all year round.

To me, they say that hope for resilience, nature and a little time spent on simple tasks lives here.

Something to remind me, on the busy days.

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>> More posts about life as we know it at Milkwood here

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8 responses to “We went to find a Willow Tree

  1. Very cool. It’s great to be able to share life in this way with our young ones. I think the sap from willow trees is also a natural rooting starter… Not sure where I heard/read that. I do know I have heard it though.

    Happy New Year from … We’re still in the U.K for now. Soon as the house sells we are homeward bound. Cheers David Trees.

  2. It’s not the wreath that is the centerpiece but the time that you spent sharing a project with your son. In future years it will come into the “remember when…….” category which is the basis of beautiful memories. Enjoy your world.


  3. Perfect timing for your post. I have a water filter system on my well that rinses itself out every night, depositing quite a bit of water into this one close area. I have decided to take advantage of this by planting a craft willow here so I can harvest the branches for proects. This is the only I could grow one here on my 10 acres of hillside basalt and clay.

  4. I wonder if what you call willow is the same as what is known here as ‘NW Peppermint’? I was told once that NW Peppermint isn’t the right name for it so perhaps it is. They are great shade trees though and the best thing, considering we live where there are plenty of gum trees that randomly *CRACK* and drop great thudding branches, is that they don’t (drop giant branches, that is). Even in the biggest storms they are very resilient.

    Far prefer to park under one of those than a gum 🙂 and yes, they are called on here for school for wreath making, often 🙂

    Glad you enjoyed (apart from the lugging).

  5. We used to have a willow down the bottom of our primary school playground. I spent a good 6 years making all sorts of wreaths and designs from the branches that had fallen down. There is one on the common in Hill End but underneath gets mowed with a ride on so there aren’t really any laying about. Did you cut yours down?

  6. I know willow trees get bad press from an environmental perspective, but there is something incredibly soothing about their presence on a river bank. We miss the willow that shaded a beaut bend in the Peel River opposite our place. Before it was uprooted in a flood it offered respite on a hot day and of course those lovely long strands for weaving. There are a few baby willows on the other side of the river. We will just have to wait for them to grow a little bigger.

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