|Living willow fence on Laird Drive by The Living Wall|
There are hedges and there are fences. When the twain meets, it’s a living fence, like this one spied on Laird Drive at Commercial Road last spring.
A closer look showed the material used as willow wands. Straight, flexible and determined to grow – anywhere – willow is the ideal material for a project like this.
The fence secludes a bank entrance from some noisy transport traffic on Commercial – superior noise mitigation is one advantage of a living fence, according to the supplier’s website. Another benefit, important for urban users: no graffiti. Unless you count the brushstroke pattern of willow leaves as living graffiti, too. That I could live with, easily.
Some sleuthing uncovered this supplier to be The Living Wall (after trying to reach them, I finally confirmed the source by spotting this project on their Facebook page). Here are a few details.
|This living fence is a woven basketwork of willow wands between wooden frames.|
|The saplings root where they touch, and eventually will grow to disguise the stationary framework|
|Drip hosing was integrated with the framework to irrigate the living fence until it becomes established|
|A few months later, the hedge is filling in very nicely|
This isn’t the only type of living willow fence by any means. The other day, when researching Patrinia, I noticed that Bluestem Nursery sells willow rods, and even gives you their own recipe for weaving living willow structures. It might be a fun project for an ambitious gardener.
Just to show you how determined willow can be, take a look at these offshoots coming off the exposed roots of willows by Lake Ontario in Tommy Thompson Park. Where there’s a willow, there’s a way.
|Extracts from plants like willow that sprout or root easily are sometimes used to help root other plants|