Use willow to make plant supports and garden supports with a beautiful natural look. No special tools needed! Willow can also be used for screens, fences, or raised bed edging. In this short video, watch how to make a willow support in 8 steps.
Willows are common right across the Northern hemisphere, including the United States and Canada. They often grow near rivers or on damp ground, and they’re extremely cold hardy.
How to Make a Willow Hurdle
For each willow hurdle you’ll need:
- 4 hazel posts (at least one and a half inches thick)
- Bundle of willow ‘rods’ (flexible stems)
- Knife or small ax (optional – to whittle ends of posts if necessary)
- Hammer your hazel posts into the ground to form upright posts for your hurdle. If you need to, you can whittle the ends of the sticks to a point so that they pierce the ground more easily.
- Begin weaving your first willow ‘rod’ by laying it on the ground and weaving it in and out of the sticks so that it rod alternates between being in front of one post then behind the next.
- Add another rod, this time weaving in the opposite direction.
- Every few rows, the rods will need to be tied in to hold the end posts upright. Select an extra-long rod for this and weave it into the hurdle, then flex the thinner end of the rod around the end post and weave it back into the hurdle. Repeat the process for the opposite end.
- Continue adding rods, alternating the weave each time, and tying in with an extra-long rod every few rows.
- Occasionally firm up the weave by tapping the rods down with your hand or your hammer so they lay tightly against each other.
- Weave the final two rods around the end posts and tuck them into the weave for a tidy finish.
- Complete the hurdle by trimming any protruding rods so they are flush with the ends, or twist and weave them back in.
Find more garden techniques and tips! Try the wonderful Almanac Garden Planner.