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Weaving garden arches

Posted by Dawn Isaac on 05 May 2010 at 05:45 PM

I took my children to a fun fair this week.

I am telling you this so you won't write me off as a terrible mother.  You see I have to admit that the weekend before I forced them to attend the village litter pick.

Well 'force' might be overstating it. They were furnished with 'litter grabbers' for the event which was enough to keep them happy for a good half an hour, especially when combined with the excitement of finding little bags of poo in the hedgerows (from dogs, I hasten to add, although why someone felt the need to wrap the biodegradable waste in non-biodegradable material before slinging it into an otherwise picturesque hedgerow is quite beyond me...).

But I digress.

While Ava and Oscar were attempting to manoeuvre bagged animal waste with robotic arms, I was helping prune off the suckers from the trees along the road. And here is where I found a perfect source of garden material.  Large whippy growth, though unwanted beside stately trees, is the perfect material for weaving garden arches.

The children did look at me slightly askance as I became overexcited by what can only be described as 'big sticks' and, in a scene reminiscent of the Macbeth prophecy, lugged them all back home looking like a young tree out for a stroll.

But, hey presto, we now have a 'rustic garden arch', plus two smaller versions at the entrance to the children's gardens.  The technique was the same as for creating willow arches - pair up similar size uprights, push the ends as far as possible into the ground and twist the top sections round each other to form archways.  Then use very young whippy growth to weave in and out of the series of arches to strengthen the structure - a perfect job for the children to help with.

Not only do these create really good structure in the garden, they are also perfect supports for the runner beans we planted out yesterday.

Even the children were quietly impressed - although I have a feeling it rates below fun fairs on the excitement scale.  Possibly below 'bags of poo' too.


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