Willow Wonder

So when you’ve done your business in the toilet, finished the washing up or had a shower you flush, pull the plug or turn off right? Well, not in this house. For the 6 months we’ve been living here I feel we’ve given our drains a life times worth of thought. We just weren’t flowing right and far too frequently not at all. I’ll spare you the details, we’ve come out the other end (!) and I still can’t express the joy of a shower where someone doesn’t yell, ‘get out, there’s water everywhere….’

But, when we were all (professionals too), scratching our heads trying to work out what was going on with our drainage system; more and more people pointed to our beautiful weeping willow and said, ‘well if that’s not your culprit, it won’t be helping.’ So, Paul and I, treehuggers united faced the fact that one of the first things we needed to do in our new home was chop a tree down – noooooooo! It’s true willow roots cause havoc with drains – blocking them up and even breaking pipes. They seek water, so it was logical to think they were a potential cause. The tree was very close to the house too, so not good for the roots to our home either. Uh, facts faced, tree committed.

IMG_3614 edit
Bye willow

Lets first pay the willow tree some respect. It’s not only beautiful it’s a useful specimen too. Used for making cricket bats and flutes, aspirin, artists charcoal and lets not forget the Whomping willow in Harry Potter. Alas the show must go on.

IMG_3625 edit


It’s true, you do get by with a little (or a lot) of help from your friends. We sadly said good-bye to one tree but gained 27 – yeehaaa. Experimental gardening time. With the cuttings of the willow we have made a living structure – a willow dome. I’m being a bit hasty here, our plan may not work out and I’ve gone public – egg/face…..

Anyway, back in June the tree was cut down, chipped and made into an amazing mulch for the garden and potager. We resisted attempting bats and flutes.


30 healthy looking specimans were planted up into buckets with just the mulch around their feet and left alone with nothing other than a regular water.

Mission accepted.

They survived the summer and as the weather cooled, the trees looked like they were doing surprisingly well. Perhaps we could construct ourselves a willow dome?

The dream.

I mean, how cool would it be if it worked – no pressure boys but this is what I have in mind.


Off we go…..


But where do we do it?!

This is a big decision….


but these guys are getting fed up of waiting!


Spot marked, time to walk out the circle.


and cut the grass to make us a guide.


Of the 30 that went into buckets 27 looked up to scratch.


Time to get digging.


Pause to admire the wonder of worms.




Is it wierd that I’m so happy digging, planting, getting muddy?


Winnie stops by for a cuddle and inspection….


and then she decides to sunbathe in the dome – we’ll take that as a mark of approval.

We have the start of dome!


Celebratory bundle/hug.

Fingers are crossed that in a few years time we will be star gazing through the willow, eating and drinking in a candle lit dome, listening to the rustle of the leaves as a gentle breeze blows through. You’ve got to dream right?

I also see this as a bit of personal development – am I finally learning the art of patience? Excited by something that we won’t actually be reaping the benefits of for several years. As a (I confess) I want it now kind of girl I think so. Watching, waiting…..

Hal x

BTW the vegan thing is going swimmingly. Energy levels are up & feeling good about the whole thing. It’s a shame so many dark chocolates contain milk products (boo) but the show/label reading will go on. Lots of soups, curries, noodly things and experimental but edible cakes in this house and if all else fails peanut butter ๐Ÿ™‚

4 thoughts on “Willow Wonder

  1. That’s a pretty ambitious project at least from my point of view (I can’t even look after a cactus without accidentally killing it), but it looks like you’ve made an excellent start. I hope it all works out according to plan. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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