And how excited am I at last, to have some here in the Barn! I’ve been mildly obsessed with structures in the garden for years – those who have visited Glenmore see all the loose ones…..tunnels and wigwams that I make of bamboo in the Kitchen Garden for climbing veg and the boxes for broad beans and tomato supports. I also make basket-like compartments from twig & stick prunings when I sow seed, that make the garden look like a basket-case at certain times of the year which I love! Sometimes I use lengths of Mulberry from a tree we planted years ago, and although its stems are long and straight, they turn to paper in a season, so I’ve never made serious ones….the kind I admire in gardens the world over, but who’s material I’ve never been able to source; nor do I have the time or skill it takes (or patience???!!!!) to make ones like these.
My first attempt to have them in the garden here was about 22 years ago (I remember because Clemmie was very young when we went to visit Virginia Kaiser in her studio). I knew it wasn’t really her thing, but she was kind enough to make me ONE – it still sits in the corner of the Dairy next to the chest of drawers, as well as a couple of little supports to sit inside terracotta pots. But sadly, that was the end of that, until I finally made contact with Penny Simons, who shares a similar passion (but she’s clever enough to be expert at making them!). Harriet suggested I track her down earlier this year, as did one of my dearest friends (knowing of this peculiar passion of mine!) but its been quite a year and we only just made contact. I’m thrilled to bits. We’re going to schedule a Living Willow Workshop for the New Year too, and I’ll hope to have an obelisk or two in stock from now on.