A bit of support

This time last year I booked onto a willow plant support making course at Coton Manor.  Something urgent happened on the day and unfortunately I was not able to go so I hoped that they would repeat the same course next year.  It was incredibly cold and snowy that day last year so whilst I was upset at not getting a day off and that I had lost the money for the course, I was sort of glad not to be outside.  Fast forward to this year and I was booked on again, and this time I was determined to go.  I have been going to the Coton Gardening School for well over ten years now, usually one or two a year, sometimes three.  This year I am booked onto two and I always enjoy them and I always enjoy my first visit of the year to Coton as it sets the season in motion is always a pleasant experience.  For some reason though I have never visited just to see the garden, its not that far from where I live really but I just don't make the journey.
So this year I changed this, I went to visit the garden a couple of days before the course to see the last gasp of this year's snowdrops.  I have never visited there in snowdrop time so it was a nice treat, which of course also involved cake.
The spring flowers were looking wonderful.  It was a lovely warmish day too on Sunday which made the visit even more enjoyable.
We found some small chickens,
and some bigger birds
I thought this one looked particularly fine and I think he did too.  I did consider whispering 'croquet' into his ear, but I couldn't see where his ear was so decided against.
We also found a carpet nest as well.
I also checked out the plant supports as homework for the forthcoming Wednesday.  They are rather impressive.
We also spent some time considering this pruned and trained yew.  It looks on the face of it rather brutal, but there was new growth already showing and the way it is trained upwards to keep the shape was fascinating.  I shall enjoy looking at how that develops.
Wednesday dawned and back to Coton I went, this time in quite thick fog and damp chilly air.
I had my trusty secateurs with me as we had been told we would need them.  The course was excellent as it did what it said it would do, it taught me how to make plant supports.  We had a brief introduction and a discussion about materials, a wander around the garden looking at various plant supporty/willowy things; then a demonstration and then we were let loose to make our own.
I made a hoop.  I was quite pleased with my hoop.
I was even more pleased when I got my hoop plus other bits home and put my completed rose support together.
It might not be perfect but its better than the rubbish supports I had previously.  More will be made, definitely more.  I am now eyeing up the hedges and bending twigs in a knowing manner.

and for May Day I might consider making a wicker man and sing Sumer is Icumen In .......


  1. How wonderful to make your own plant supports. I have recently cut back all my red stemmed cornus and the willow by the pond and was wondering what to make with all the stems that I now have! It sounds as if you had a good time on your course and visiting the garden before hand.

  2. That looks really good.. very rustic, more so than the green metal linky things I use.

  3. You'll be expert before you know it I'm sure. A useful course to do. Pleased that you finally managed a tour of the garden - looks a nice place to visit.

  4. Those metal linky things always collapse on me. You have inspired me to have a go with the dogwood stems I've just cut down. Did you use a frame to make the circle? Must do it now before all the herbaceous stuff starts growing.


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