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  • Deeside Willow Team

Living Willow Dome: Building & Maintenance Instructions

Updated: Feb 15, 2022



Introduction.

Willow domes are great for all ages, and relatively simple to construct. Fun to build together with the family, or as a large group for your local community/school project. A perfect place to relax and unwind or a fun den providing shade for children to play in!

Once the willow is pushed into the ground and secured, the willow will then root and grow. This will mean that you need to maintain the dome by weaving in the willow rods, for at least the first few years to build up the structure - for some, this can be as enjoyable as the initial build!


We hope you find these instructions useful! At Deeside Willow we are happy to receive any questions and/or your feedback so that we can improve these for whoever chooses to embark on their next living willow structure!


Materials.

Things you will need:

  • 28-40 Long fresh (green) willow whips.

  • Small Dome (~1.8m Diameter): x28 whips (min. 7' length)

  • Medium Dome (~3m Diameter): x 34 whips (min. 10' length)

  • Large Dome (~4m Diameter): x40 whips (min. 11' length)

  • (optional) weed suppressing membrane.

  • Gardeners twine, and rope or similar.

Other useful tools:

  • Secateurs/Loppers

  • Measuring tape.

  • Pointed wooden or metal stake (1-2" in diameter)

  • A way to water them after planting.


Step 1. Read our growing guide.

  • Read our simple growing and maintenance guide before you start - this provides important information to help when considering location, arrival and aftercare.


Step 2. Lay the matting / weed suppressing membrane.

  • (If using) Lay weed-suppressing membrane across the surface of the area you intend to grow your dome. Note: Laying membrane at least 6" around your willow whips is recommended to keep the base of a living willow structure clear from any weeds.


Step 3. Use a stake to measure out the dome.

  • Find your centre point of the dome, puncture a hole and push the wooden stake into the ground until secure (or you could use one of your willow whips thick-end down).