by on January 31st, 2022 in blogs, news, News and Blogs

Our World and Willow with Ellen has been on site at The Orangery on the 29th and 30th of January installing a willow tunnel for our visitors to enjoy and now it’s springing into life!

How amazing is it to have a willow sculptor that grows their own willow!

Ellen has taken us through the process of growing the willow to the complete construction of the tunnel for the grounds at The Orangery.

The ground was prepared with the help of our garden volunteers as the site chosen for the tunnel has obviously been used to dump rubble and bricks from previous construction projects. Channels were cut and lined with weed proof membrane before the willow rods could be planted.

We were lucky to have some local people come along to help prepare the channels and trim the willow ready to plant. On Day One they were able to plant 172 willow rods for this 30 metre tunnel!

Ellen taught us all about how willow grows, how to tie in the willow rods to form the framework and how the structure will become self supporting.

Day Two finished with another 120 rods planted and the completion of the tunnel. You are able to walk through the structure and we can’t wait for the leaves and shoots to appear.

You can see the diamond shapes in the tunnel walls and this is where circular window frames that are made in the workshops will be tied in to act as places for visitors to look out from when walking through the tunnel.

We can’t wait to see the changes in the appearance of the tunnel as it starts to grow, shoot and become covered in leaves.

Our World and Willow with Ellen came back to The Orangery on the 22nd of February with a workshop to make willow window frames to be installed in the willow tunnel but we didn’t stop there! With Staffordshire Day coming up we decided to add Staffordshire Knots to both entrances to the tunnel to create a living legacy to our creative county. We are so excited to see it bursting into leaf now spring is here and look forward to seeing the walls grow in over the upcoming months.

We hope you will come up to enjoy sitting on the willow arbour bench, walking through the tunnel to admire the views from its windows and let it lead you down the grass back to discover the rest of The Orangery grounds and the main building.

The Ingestre Orangery: Heritage Pod Development - This project is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development