Willows Nursery Walgrave Northampton  NN6  9QA 01536 791371

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Make a Wigwam

 HOW TO MAKE A SIMPLE LIVING WILLOW WIGWAM
FROM LONG WILLOW WHIPS

A living willow Wigwam is one of the simplest structures to make. Work out how wide you want the base of the wigwam to be and ‘draw’ a circle on the ground. Calculate how many of the longest whips you want - work on one every 18 inches / 2 ft - leaving an opening for the entrance and then push them into the ground (about 6 to 9 inches is sufficient for them to root - go deeper if you wish).
Tie them together towards the top.

Use slightly shorter whips to add 2 diagonals per gap -  except at the entrance -  planted diagonally to encourage denser side growth.

Ideally weave the diagonal whips ‘in front of one vertical and behind the next’ as this makes the structure more rigid -  although tying the whips together may help while you are working, especially towards the tips.

Where the diagonals go across the entrance simply bend them around the vertical whip a weave them back into the criss-cross pattern.

This is the same living willow wigwam a couple of years later in full summer growth. The new growth can be woven into the structure, cut off as it grows, or left for a shaggier wilder appearance, if you prefer, and not trimmed until winter.

You can work out your own design of wigwam and order the number of whips you need, or you can buy one of our wigwam kits which follow the above approach. The photographs below show the small wigwam and the standard wigwam just after planting and then in early June as the new growth begins.
Don’t forget, if you can collect your order, then you can have whips longer than 9 ft which will make a bigger structure !

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