willow bean pole
There’s nothing like the flavor of pole beans fresh from the garden. And even more satisfying is growing your own willow rods for making a trellis.
pole beans at Dunbar Gardens
I use some of the larger willow rods for pole beans. Varieties like Harrison’s or Continental Osier produce stout 8 to 10 foot rods. This year I also used some of the three year old peeled willow I showed in an earlier post about peeling willow bark. I put metal fence posts in about every 10 feet and run a heavy gauge wire along the top. Then I insert the dried willow rods several inches in the ground at an angle and tie them with a short piece of twine to the wire.
yellow romano beans
One of our favorite varieties to grow are these Italian yellow romanos – Meraviglia di Venezia.
Rufous Hummingbird on a willow bean pole
An added benefit is the fun watching the birds use the willow as a perch like this hummingbird waiting to zip down to the adjacent zinnias.
Sparki’s parrot cage
Katherine recently completed weaving this parrot cage. It was a commission for a customer in nearby Anacortes, WA. She has a parrot named Sparki who gets thoroughly upset if the people go outside on the deck for coffee and leave her behind in the house. So the idea was to get a basket to put Sparki in for the outside on the deck or in the garden. (Just to be clear – the parrot does not live in the basket.) The basket needed a lid so that Michele could open it to place a metal perch she has inside. The lid is woven tight so that the parrot doesn’t perceive any predator threats from above. It has a front door for putting in the parrot. It has side handles to carry it. The basket is a little like a fitched laundry hamper. The door and its opening did provide some technical challenge to make.
parrot cage base
before the top waling
the door latch
parrot basket lid