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Making a living screen

AG’s Emilie Griffin has got the bug for willow weaving and is now creating a fence/hedge or ‘fedge’

Here’s how to go about it:

Step1 Peg a strip of black membrane, 1ft (30cm) wide and as long as needed, to the ground. Once it’s in place push the edges into the soil with a spade. Start at the corners then move along the edges

Step 2 Make some slits along the centre of the membrane, each 1in (2.5cm) long, 10in (25cm) apart. Then using a strong cane or metal rod make a vertical hole 14in (35cm) deep in the soil on each end. Now make the holes for the inner whips at a 45º angle

Step 3 Place the two largest and thickest willow whips into the end vertical holes, making sure each whip touches the very bottom of the hole. Now add the other whips into the 45º angle holes again making sure the base of the whip sits at the base of the hole

Step 4 Now make more holes next to the holes already made. These whips also need to be angled at a 45º, but pointing in the opposite direction. Push a whip into each hole, weaving their length among the other whips, creating a criss-cross pattern

Step 3 Tie the crosses together using soft tie or elastic bands and 1in (2.5cm) lengths of twig. Tying the whips together will help keep the structure in place while the bark of the two touching whips fuse together. These ties will eventually degrade and fall off

Step 6 Wind together horizontally the tops of all the whips at the height you want the fedge to be. Start in the middle and wind the whips in the direction they are facing. You may need to wind in some additional thin whips to help keep everything in place to start with

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