Modern border edging is a quick and simple way of containing soil and providing a neat mowing line, but the unnatural tones of preformed concrete edging are not always compatible with a romantic garden style. Following this step-by-step guide, you can fashion a rustic miniature fence that adds definition to a garden border and is as pretty as it is practical.
Gather your tools and materials. You will need a mallet and hazel sticks about 16 to 18 inches long and ¾ to 1 inch in diameter. You will also need long pliable willow stems for weaving, but if fresh willow stems are not available, soak older, dried out ones in a large container of water overnight or longer and they will become pliable. To cut the material you will need a sturdy sharp knife or garden shears.
Hammer hazel sticks firmly into the ground approximately 6 inches apart along the border, so that the tops of the sticks protrude from the ground level with one another approximately 12 inches. Hammer them into the ground only moderately firmly if a removable panel is desired.
Prepare the willow. Working with a handful of willows--about 10 to 12--at a time, weave them in front of and behind alternate hazel uprights.
Weave until you reach an end upright, go around the stick and back to the next, as in a figure eight. Keep the willows compacted towards ground level as you work.
Add bundles of willows until you reach the top of the uprights, always starting and finishing each bundle at the rear of the panel, trimming ends and tucking them in as necessary
Cut single willows to lengths of about 36 inches. Starting at one end of the woven panel, Push the ends of the single willows into the gaps beside alternate uprights to make the decorative overlapping hooped top.
- Wear gloves when working with the willow to protect your hands.