Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wickets, Wickerwork, Whatever

 This wicker fence has been expanded to strengthen older (& rotting) uprights & extend the span to support more of the Crocosmia 'Emberglow' that grows behind it.  The 2 stakes on the right are new.  December 2011

This is the old section of fence from 2009. December 2011

This is new wickerwork that includes Paeonia suffruticosa stems among the uprights. December 2011

A more elaborate wicket for the largest Paeonia suffruticosa. December 2011

This wicker fence was woven in 2008.  The upright on the right (Weigela) rooted in place, helping to keep the fence standing.  I cut off new growth.  December 2011

Visitors to my garden have called these charming & clever.  But they've never given them a name.  I call them wickets, which sounds a lot like cricket.  I think it refers to weaving sticks together, in this case to support perennials & the notoriously floppy Paeonia suffruticosa (Tree Peony)  The dictionary says wicker means 'made of twigs.' These wicker fences are best at supporting perennials that flop in one direction.  I use them for Crocosmia.  I also use them for Helleborus x sternii, which backs up against shrubbery, or it would flop in every direction.  I use them with less success for Tree Peony.  The blooms are so heavy that they often need to be staked individually, preferably before the buds open & it rains.  This year I started weaving the peony canes in with sturdy upright poles (warp) & thinner cross-pieces (weft) cut from Corylus avellana 'Contorta' (Contorted Hazel) Viburnum & Weigela.  I think it will hold most of them up this coming spring.  I've been making these for 4 years.  Weaving is fun.  It's a reward for cutting hazel risers, which is tedious work.

1 comment:

Garden muses said...

Hi Jordan,

good advice about making and using a more natural looking support system for top-heavy peonies, et al. Those metal loops you seen in the market always seem incongruous in the garden to me.

Thanks for posting!