Beekeepers have long known the benefits of housing an apiary near a stand of willow. Loved by all bees for its excellent source of early pollen and nectar and with the increase in need for biofuel, large plantations of willow may soon become commonplace in the landscape. Short rotation coppice (SRC) systems utilise high yield varieties of both poplar and willow, but it may surprise you to learn that the willow species typically chosen, is the Common Osier, or Basket Willow (Salix viminalis).
Designer maker, Deb Hart (Hart Willow), skilfully weaves local willow into bespoke baskets from her Braintree studio. So we were delighted when she agreed to make a small number of her stunning signature willow ‘tension trays’ especially for the Essex Conference raffle this year. Sometimes her baskets contain other common hedgerow species like elder, birch, alder and hazel for added texture and interest. However, it is the inherent beauty of colour and simplicity of form in natural willow bark, which makes these versatile, handwoven platters a stylish contribution to any table, whether empty or laden.
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In addition to crafting domestic pieces, Hart Willow also undertakes much larger scale projects for private and corporate clients, including garden bowers, living willow tunnels, in situ fencing and mazes, as well as holding traditional crafts workshops for learning groups of all ages.
For more information on commissions and workshops please contact : firstname.lastname@example.org