Friday, 22 March 2013

Some things take a little while

I have a very long list of jobs, and a lot of stock items associated with them. I don't fully understand the process by which things get put off for another time - something to do with the difference between the important and the urgent?  When I acquire materials I almost always intend to process them reasonably quickly, but that often doesn't follow.  My record, I think, is a package in the workshop which contains the pieces of teak and slate needed to make a small coffee table, which is wrapped in newspaper dated 1975.  I should be able to sort it by the end of 2015, I think.

So my third willow basket has happened at lightning speed.  In January my younger son and his wife donated  a red wig for my car:

This was some overgrown willow from their Devon garden.  I don't know a great deal about all the various willows, but this had the advantage of beautiful colour variations from yellow to red, and the disadvantage of being rather thick-stemmed with lots of side shoots. When I got it home I spent ages trimming off the sideshoots, and used the thickest rods to create a screen for some of our compost bins.  The rest went in the bath to increase its pliability (not our only bath, in case you were wondering):

As I worked with it, I learned a lot about which rods were really too thick for the job in hand, so the outcome was a rough-and-ready (artisanal?) basket which has now gone back to Devon to hold logs for the willow-providers.  They are kind enough to say it's fine.  As it's the first basket I've made without expert supervision, I'm grateful to them, but shall be aiming higher next time.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Wisteria support

We have been planning for a while to plant a wisteria in the side garden.  To support it (assuming that it grows!) we designed an open structure which in effect creates a new south 'wall' facing the utility building.  In due course the drystone wall will be repaired (Elizabeth is going on a National Trust course this summer) so I used up some 4 x1 carcassing and some half-round posts, held together with galvanised roofing bolts.  The new planting is going to feel somewhat intimidated for the first few years, we feel.