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A low wicker fence made of willow branches looks like a bed of beech, but the backs and knees will soon come in, if you have to squat for a long time while braiding. The individual segments of the bed enclosure can also be plaited comfortably on the worktable. Important: Fresh willow branches can be processed directly, older ones have to be in the water bath for a few days, so that they become soft and elastic again.
Alternatives for willow branches
If you do not have willow branches, there are usually alternatives in the garden that are suitable for braided fences - for example the rods of the red dogwood. There are different varieties with green, red, yellow and dark brown shoots, from which you can weave colorful bedding borders. The shrubs should be cut back every winter anyway, because the new shoots always show the most intense color. As an alternative to hazelnut sticks you can, for example, also use strong, straight elderberry branches. It is only important that you remove the bark from these, otherwise they form roots in the soil and drive out again.
In winter, it is often not so difficult to get at fresh willow branches: in recent years new pollard willows have been planted along streams and floodplains in many communities in order to create new habitat for the little owl. He prefers to nest in the hollowed out trunks of old pollard willows. So that the pastures form their typical "heads", they have to be cut back on the trunk every few years. Hard-working volunteers are welcome to many communities, and often they are allowed to take the shred for free - inquire at your local church.
Step by step to the finished wicker fence
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Step by step: The result is a wicker fence
The yellowish-green wicker willow (Salix viminalis) and the reddish purple willow (S. purpurea) are particularly suitable as braiding material. Because the vertical sticks should not grow and deflect, we recommend hazelnut shoots
First of all, cut off all disturbing side shoots from the willow branches with pruning shears
The hazelnut sticks, which serve as lateral posts, are sawn off to a length of 60 centimeters...
... and sharpened at the bottom with a knife
At the outer ends of a roof batten (here 70 x 6 x 4.5 centimeters) drill one hole at a time whose size depends on the thickness of the two outer pegs. We use Forstner drills in thicknesses 30 mm for the two outer holes and 15 mm for the five holes in between. Make sure there are even gaps between the holes
Both the thick and the thinner, only about 40 centimeters long hazelnut rods are now inserted into the drilled holes of the braiding template. They should sit reasonably firmly in the wooden strip. If they are too thin, you can wrap the ends with old strips of fabric
The five or ten-millimeter-thick willow branches are always led along in the lichen in front of under the sticks. The overhanging ends are wrapped around the outer pegs and braced back in the opposite direction
You can cut off the beginning and end of the willow branches flush with a hazelnut stick, or let them disappear down the vertical bars in the interstices
Finally, remove the finished braided fence segment from the template and cut the thin middle bars to a consistent height. On the top of the fence, you can also shorten the rod ends, which have been inserted in the lichen help, if necessary, also something. Then insert the segment with the pointed outer pegs into the bed