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15 Fabulous Living Willow Project Ideas

15 Fabulous Living Willow Project Ideas

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Living willow structures are a cheap and sustainable way to add gorgeous elements to your property. They are fun to create and are functional, providing shelter or fencing in addition to decorative aspects.

Using willows to create shelters, fences, and sculptures has been popular in the UK for ages and is becoming more popular in the US. Check out these 15 amazing living willow project ideas for a look into the types of things that can be made with willow whips:

15 living willow project ideas

1. Living garden art

Willows can be turned into amazing works of art that grow and change with the seasons, like this beautiful feature in the UK. 


2. Living willow tunnel

Living willow tunnel | daseaford/Shutterstock

A living tunnel would be so much fun to have in a garden. It would be the perfect shady place to hang out on hot summer days, and kids would love it! A tunnel like this could be built as long or as short as you need, depending on your available space. 


3. Willow fence

Young willow fence | Jeanie333/Shutterstock

Fences made of willows are extremely functional and easy to maintain. As they leaf out and create new growth, they can replace most traditional fences. They are also a beautiful, natural way to enclose a yard. 


4. Mature willow privacy fence

Mature woven willow fence | Lovas50/Shutterstock

Here is an example of a more mature willow fence. The base is woven horizontally and the tops are left to grow vertically. This style makes an excellent privacy fence and is sufficient to keep most pets contained on a property. 



5. Willow arbors…or a church?

Willow church in Germany | SpandowStockPhoto/Adobe Stock

Amazing structures can be made out of willows, like this striking feature in Germany made from arches of various sizes. The cool thing is – this is actually a church. A structure like this would make a beautiful and fun addition to any yard or park, requiring little maintenance once established.



6. Willow-sheltered seating area

Willow bench shelter | Peter Turner Photography/Shutterstock

Here is a beautiful live willow seating area providing shade in a yard. Willows can be woven and shaped into domes or half-domes for shelter and visual interest.  



7. Willow fence in winter

Living willow fence in winter | Peter/Adobe Stock

This living fence in England shows how beautiful a willow fence can be even in winter when the plants are dormant. It will fill out again with lush green leaves in spring. 



8. Artsy willow tunnel

Willow tunnel in a park | geo86/Adobe Stock

Willow creations can be very elaborate or very simple. Even a seemingly uncomplicated design like this tunnel in a park can have beautiful artistic appeal with its curvature and branches woven horizontally across the structure. 



9. Willow fort for kids

Willow playhouse | jonnysek/Adobe Stock

For a fabulously fun idea for kids, check out this living willow fort for kids. We once built something similar with sunflowers, but willows would be great because they don’t have to be replanted every year. It could also become a snow fort in winter! 



10. Willow tunnel in a garden

Willow tunnel in a flower garden | Zdenek Sasek/Adobe Stock

This willow tunnel adds some vertical space to a garden plot and acts as a natural divider between the garden sections.


11. Arch sculpture

Willow arch sculpture in Quebec | Anne Richard/Adobe Stock

Here is another creative arch design using live willows. The feature is a work of art that doubles as a fun place to find some shade. 


12. Living sculptures

Willows can be manipulated into just about any shape, making them perfect for creating sculptures that come to life when the leaves turn green. This would be a wonderful type of project to get kids involved in the garden!



13. Decorative willow fence

Decorative fence around a pond | Peter/Adobe Stock

This simple but beautiful fence makes a nice decorative border around a pond in England. This fence is a good example of the versatility of willows for use in functional projects large and small. 



14. Willow domes

Stan Wray / Living Willow Dome / CC BY-SA 2.0

I can’t think of too many things more fun for kids than their own willow dome in the yard. And what a cool way to get them outdoors, enjoying nature and watching their dome change over the years as the willows grow! 



15. Simple willow arch

Willow arch in a field | James/Adobe Stock

Finally, here is another archway that shows simple can be beautiful. A minimalist willow arch in this country field gives the scene a fun, whimsical feel.


These projects show the incredible versatility of willows, no matter what you want to create. If your growing conditions are right, willows can provide beautiful, green structures on your property that last for years!

LV Residential Life – November Highlights – Taylor Scott Nelson

Wednesday 18th of July 2018

[…] ago come out to harvest willow for basketry. I was very interested in helping because I wanted to know more about willow and how to use it. We spent a day coppicing and pollarding willow in various gardens and around the solar shower – […]