Willows, Common Osier (Salix viminalis)
Among the first trees we planted in the forest garden area of Marlpit Community Garden were a double row of willows along the western side of the garden.
They are incredibly useful trees. In this position they will help to screen the garden from the houses and this section of Marriots Way. By coppicing, we will prevent them growing too tall and overshadowing the garden, as well as obtaining wood for hurdles. We can run crafts workshops using the willows whips for basketry and sculpture, and Mahesh has plans to experiment in producing an alternative to netting to protect our plants against birds. Another idea is making growing structures such as wigwams and domes from the whips.
In addition the catkins provide a source of pollen early in the year for our honey bees.