For the love of willow

I have been thinking about willow quite a bit recently, my neighbours have a fantastic willow tree on their drive way that is currently covered in furry catkins.  The tree is quite dull for most of the year but for this brief moment in time it is stunning.  I do like a good willow, Alyson Hannigan is a good willow, as is Warwick Davies.  I have long wanted a weeping willow, they are such dramatic trees.  I remember playing in the willow tree that was in my maternal grandparent's garden. I used to hide under its weeping branches, and usually get covered in ants in the process, that was not so good.  I do not have anywhere near the space for a proper one sadly.

I do have a couple of willows, a Salix 'Scarcuzam' I have written about previously and one that lives by the pond.  Its name is I am afraid now lost but I think it is a Salix cinerea, or 'grey willow', I am more than happy to be corrected on that.  It was an early purchase for the garden which I remember buying after reading a magazine article about it.  The photographs of it made it a must have plant.
As with most of my plants, it was but a twig when I bought it and I planted it on the pond side of the Tree Lupin Border thinking it would be rather nice there, it is.
The catkins are just superb.  They start a dark grey, they then develop a red flush before finally opening up to reveal masses of yellow pollen.
It is truly beautiful this time of year.
If you want something that gives 'Spring interest', few shrubs are as interesting as this in my opinion.
It picks up the late afternoon sun so well, and it is now a good size.  It will grow bigger so I will have to control it at some point, but for now it is a joy.

It is,sadly, remarkably dull the rest of the year though.