The Wonder of Willows – part two

For part two in this series about the wonder of willows we start in our own garden at our home “Avocet” in Shropshire. The first photo shows our striking, architectural Salix erythrocadium flexuosa with the orange coloured tips to its thinnest branches. Together with the colour, the amazing curling, spiraling branches impress everyone who sees it.

2015 02 17_9590 2015 03 15_9902 2015 03 15_9903

Close by our Violet Willow is equally impressive with its almost black stems which develop a white bloom in the winter. In the late winter and into early spring it produces strongly contrasting sparkling white catkins.

As the group of photos below show we have trained this as a pollarded specimen with its branches pruned down to the pollard stumps at about 8 to 9 feet. This is just tall enough to help us appreciate its catkins against the ever changing sky and also to make pruning easy.

2015 02 17_9594-1 2015 02 17_9581-1 2015 02 17_95772015 02 17_9597-1 2015 02 17_9596-1 2015 02 17_9579-1 2015 02 17_9580-1

In late February or early March each year we prune it hard to give it its skeletal pollarded shape.

2015 02 17_9583-1 2015 02 17_9582-1

These two photos show how much material we pruned off it this year and the amazing range of colours.

2015 02 17_9584-1 2015 02 17_9585-1

Apart from these two specimen willow trees we have this ground hugging Salix variety that barely rises an inch above ground level.

2015 02 17_9599_edited-1  2015 02 17_9598



Published by greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.

This Veggie Life

A Vegetarian | Nature Lifestyle Blog

Rambling in the Garden

.....and nurturing my soul

The Arch City Gardener

Journeys In St. Louis Gardening and Beyond

Garden Dreaming at Châtillon

Consult the genius of the place


A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.


Notes from a wildlife-friendly cottage garden

PlayGroundology emerging social science

The Official Blog of British Wildlife

'The most important and informative publication on wildlife of our times' - The Independent. This blog is a member of The UK & Ireland Natural History Bloggers group:


Home School Gardening

Bishops Meadow Trust

To create and protect a semi-natural wild space for the people of Farnham to enjoy and experience an array of British wildlife in our town

Gardening with Children

The Blog


birding through the seasons, why birds matter and how to conserve them


with a camera in hand


Transform your outdoor space

Eva's space

My allotment, cooking and other interests

Old School Garden

my gardening life through the year


Trying to live a creative life


trying to live as lightly as possible on our beautiful planet

Good Life Gardening

Nature lovers from Leicester living the good life.


Finding the beautiful in the everyday


Michelle's Allotment

In and Out of My Garden

thoughts from and about my garden


Big plans for a small garden

The Fruity Chicken

Life at the fruity chicken


Off grid living. Self sufficient. "PERMAGANICS RULE".

St Anns Allotments

Nottingham's Grade 2* Listed Allotments and Community Orchard

Manifest Joy Harvests

a journey in suburban vegetable gardening

The Garden Smallholder

Small-Scale Smallholding, A Tiny Farm In A Big Garden


The madness of growing your own

Penny's Garden: a harvest beyond my front door

A novel approach to vegetable gardening


Sustainable living in the Irish countryside.


Master Gardener, amateur photographer, intermediate quilter and lover of day trips around New England


Recent work and work in progress and anything else that interests me


a chaotic cottage gardener

Lens and Pens by Sally

a weekly blog that creates a personal philosophy through photographs and words

Dewdrops and Sunshine

Stories from a sassy and classy Southern farmbelle.

The Pyjama Gardener

Simple Organic Gardening & Seasonal Living

gettin' fresh!

turning dirt into dinner


today the world is created anew

Garden Birds

Notes from a Devon garden


Life Through The Lens

Adapting Pixels

A photography blog showcasing the best photography pictures and videos on the internet

Wildlifegardening's Blog

Just another site


personal observations from the natural world as the search continues for a new approach to conservation.


The Wonders of Life through my Eyes, my Heart, my Soul

%d bloggers like this: