Sunday, 20 February 2011

Getting Started

I've been spending a lot of time outdoors this year. Taking long walks, collecting gorse flowers for the dye pot and for culinary uses. I've found recipes for gorse flower cordial and for using the flowers in salads but so far the call of the dye pot has been strongest. The gorse gives the wool a lovely buttery hue but I do have a feeling that I may achieve a vibrant ochre if I use a higher ratio of flowers and less water. I'll have a play about and show you the results when I have done some more dye pots.


Today we started the willow dome that we are building for Naomi. Naomi helped out marking the size and shape out with finger paints.


The living willow structure is at the bottom of the garden at the end of the path. The plan is that she will have to crawl through a tunnel to get to the door. Then she can enter the dome and exit by a back door that leads to the swing. She likes her secret areas of the garden best :~)


Here is a picture of the dome half done. I have made the basic structure, added 2 doors and one window. Tomorrow, I will make the tunnel; leading up to the door, strengthen the roof and weave around the base. When its all finished we will line the base with bark chippings and eventually plant runner beans, nasturtions and marigolds around the dome to brighten it up.


Last month I planted lots of willow cuttings. Its nice to see that they have settled in and are sprouting nicely :)

24 comments:

Kris said...

Fabulous willow dome! What a marvelous nature retreat.

Manon Doyle said...

Oooh! Your willow dome will be so very cool! Can't wait to see it done!!

Janine said...

Oh how fun! I can't wait to see how your dye comes out and that willow dome!

Suzi Smith said...

Great den... bet N is so excited. Do you plant & harvest by the moon phase by any chance?

Caio Fern said...

this is all so beautiful !!!

hahah! I would start the comment saying : ooohhhh!!! because this was my first reaction , but Isee it was the first reaction of many people before me :D
hugs !

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

A seriously cool post Jasmine. Inspiring indeed!

Martine said...

Good to see you here again Jasmine........
What a great idea to make a willow home for your daughter, she's going to have a lovely summer there.
XXXm

Crafty Green Poet said...

I wish i had had a willow dome like that when I was growing up!

Tammie said...

this is wonderfully creative and magical! Your cuttings look so happy. New life amongst a lives that are changing, so perfect.

Heather Woollove said...

Have you thought about planting the "Three Sisters" (beans, squash and maize) around your willow dome?
Something like this, maybe?
http://ozarkhomesteader.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/bean-teepees-variety-in-small-spaces/
XXO-

Jasmine said...

Kris - Thank you. Yes, already the birds at the bottom of the garden are exploring the dome. When it starts to grow they will love it more and we will be able to watch them through the little window :)

Hi Manon. Thanks, I will be sure to post pictures when it has settled in a little. :)

Janine - Hi. I hope to get more dyes done next week.

Suzi - N is very excited. I tend to plant whenever I get a spare moment and the weather is right. I do try to harvest by the moon x

Thank you Caio :)) hugs!

Thank you Lisa. I will be over to visit you very soon xx

Thank you Martine. I'm slowly getting myself organised. Will be getting a table for my makeshift indoors studio very soon so will (fingers crossed) have a suitable place to work and roost my felting materials. I think I will need to learn all over again xx

Crafty - Me too! I think I'm a big kid at heart because I love looking at it :)

Tammie, Thank you. I like the idea of the living willow structure. When they settle in, they seem to burst with life. x

Hi Heather. Yrs, I do intend to do the 3 sisters this year but in containers by the back door. I think the willow structure will be too thirsty to use as a frame for vegetable growth but I have so many hundreds of flower seeds already planted I am happy to experiment with training them up and around the dome to see how they fare :)

LauraX said...

this is wonderful!!! What a blessed child Naomi is!

Melinda Cornish said...

A dome in the garden is going to be so wonderful...what a great thing to do!

johndodgygoth said...

Nice one, when it's done just remember that it's for Naomi to play in ;)

Clowncar said...

so very cool. I'm not gona show my kids the pix - they'll want me to bild one. I'm more from the cardboard box and duct tape school of building.

Karin Bartimole said...

so magical! I would love to grow a willow dome!! You are an inspiring and amazing mom ❤

The Cranky Crone, she lives alone! said...

How wonderful! and such beautiful pictures of where you live, thank you for posting all these magical things. It is inspiring x

GreenWhisper said...

hello lovely lass hope alls well and you've had a good start to the year. the gorse flowers look delicious..& look forward to seeing your dye stuff.

Your N is such a lucky girl..the willow dome looks fantastic..great to camp in on moonlit nights..when it gets a wee bit warmer:)

love willows..hope they're doing well. funny, i was browsing through a book this morning 'magical guardians- exploring the nature and spirit of trees' it says of willows that they are a tree of enchantment.. quote: " the wilow-muse is sacred to poets, for the sound of the wind in the willow trees exercises a potent influence upon the human mind which results in inspiration. 'tree top inspiration' was anciently deemed preferable to intoxication or trance, for it promotes clarity of mind. ...as trees of enchantment, willows formed groves so magical that poets, artists, musicians, priests and priestesses sat within them to gain eloquence, prophecy and inspirational skills through meditation." willow also has an affinity with water so is related to cycles of the moon and our emotions. hope you'll post pics of growth? xx

Jules Woolford said...

Willow sculpture is fab and I'm thrilled to see you are showing use your dye pots again. Looking forward to seeing some beautiful creations a little later I hope?....

ich liebe berlin said...

great stuff!

Debrina said...

Today Jason and I harvested willow for basket making. We stripped all the leaves off our canes and made a huge pile of them to set out on the concrete to dry. I'll keep you posted on how we go with it all. Next step will be to soak the canes once they are dry of all their sap.

Oh, and I should let you know where my blog is these days too, Jasmine!!

I'm now over at: http://debrinaaltered.blogspot.com/

You may need to fix your side-panel or rss links to match.

Loves!
Debrina

dedicated exchange server said...

Wow! This is just so fab! Nice nature retreat!

SarahA said...

Fascinating.
Spring really dancing her dance here now. Hope for you too!

Karen said...

Wow Jasmine the willow dome looks so amazing, looking forward to seeing future pics as it grows :)