We are lucky with our line of work that we get to weave at some lovely properties for some lovely people. A job we recently completed in Oxfordshire was for a friendly customer and her three gorgeous dogs who live in a glorious farm house set in its own green grounds, with willow trees lapping at a river's edge, formal hedging and roses blooming. What a lovely place to weave a few days away...
We were asked to weave a willow fence around a yew tree which was dropping its berries on the ground and the dogs were eating them. There was already a beech hedge curving around the front of the house, and we wanted to try and mirror its lovely curves. We always say woven willow looks its best when it has curves in it, or drops or increases in height, so we were excited to see how this fence would turn out.
Doing a circular fence is easier to line out than a not perfect semi circle. With a circle you can use a center point to make a perfect circle. But with a fence like this you have to almost freestyle, and go back and forth and move uprights by a centimeter or two each time. Then hopefully, by using your eye, you have got the right shape. The scary thing is, if one zale (upright) is ever so slightly out, it can create a bulge or kick the fence out and you don't get lovely flowing lines. Its a gamble but you've got to start weaving at some point!
This fence also included a gateway with one of our beautiful handmade woven willow gates. They are made bespoke, with timber of your choice and freshly harvested willow.
We are really pleased with how this fence turned out. It mirrors the beech hedge beautifully and really complements the formal garden and its green setting. The beauty of willow fencing with a handsome roll top is that it can look both formal and cottage garden all at once. In order to keep the fence looking well and fresh we advise our customers to use a clear wood preserve or a linseed oil and spray it all over the weave, as this adds a protective seal to the willow bark. A treated fence will last at least 10 years, but we have fences woven by Tim from 15 years ago that are still standing and going strong.
Let us know what you think, we would love to hear from you.