A few years ago I was co-ordinating the Children’s Area at a local gardening show. I wanted to create a space for the younger visitors that was accessible,welcoming and inspiring.
I wanted the children and younger visitors to feel that it was their space and that they had contributed to how it looked and evolved. Before the show had started I had created several site-specific willow pieces that were deliberately left unfinished. I left plenty of spare willow lying around and over the next two days the young visitors added to the pieces.
At the end of the last day of the show there was the usual end-of-show plant sell off. Inspired by the previous two days and by the enthusiasm that I had seen amongst the children working on the willow pieces, I bought a young willow tree,very cheaply indeed. I was used to working in willow but I usually bought my willow ready harvested – I had never grown any myself.I planted the young willow tree in the garden.
The first year it died. So I dug it up,replanted it in another spot, and kept my fingers crossed.And it grew.
Three years later and it was ready for a spot of pruning. We did it a few days ago. Yesterday I made this
I thought that it was ok, nothing great. But today it came to life.Some little visitors did a spot of interior design on it.
And spent a lot of time in there,having fun. And like most special places,it was the people that brought it to life and made it special.