Garden club members were especially attentive to a slide show prepared by Heather Sanft who ably discussed the complexities of creating baskets at our September 14th club meeting. She had trained in England as well as France to learn how willows grow and how they are harvested. Did you know that France has a National Basketry School? It can take seven years to apprentice. Instructors are diligent and take much pride in the process.
Willow fences captured our attention as she showed how to place them diagonally in the soil and secure them with ties. Seeing the leaves grow out from the stocks as the cuttings took root showed the marvel of the whole process. When she moved on to making baskets, we discovered that willow comes in many colors—red, white, brown, green. To make a basket, you start with the foundation–the bottom–and after conquering that skill, you can complete the sides and handle.
From her home base at the Lunenburg County Winery in Newburne (www.canada-wine.com), she now makes willow backpacks, drying racks and even historical reproductions of bark willow lobster traps. The movie industry has made good use of her talents as well. She certainly inspired us to consider new horizons of creativity.
Many of us were charmed by Jenny Sandison’s photo presentation to our club in May, named “Grow Older Gracefully in the Garden.” On Saturday, August 22nd, she opened her garden for viewing, with proceeds going to Nepal earthquake relief ($700 raised!). She advertised, “Lots of annuals in flower, late-blooming perennials and cool woodland retreat.” Your blogger, Jocelyn, together with Nancy M., made the trip out to Mahone Bay and, of course, we were not disappointed. We ambled upward in her garden after enjoying the spectacular view from her front yard. I immediately felt captivated by the lush growth as Jenny guided us personally throughout the premises. “Gardeners should always bring pruners when they walk through their gardens,” she said, as she dutifully clipped and shaped her way along. Follow us on the tour in the pictures below and enjoy the variety of plants and their presentations. Notice the fairy garden, a creative idea that can add delight to any garden.