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The Willow Garden

Image may contain: Vegetation, Tree, Green, Garden, Plant.
Photo: Ragna Bruland

This is the children's kingdom – a child-friendly garden with fences, caves, sculptures and tunnels made from living willow. It was created in two days by a flock of volunteers and staff, and was a gift from the Friends of the Botanical Garden to our 200th anniversary in 2014. Many varieties of willow are used, and several different ways of pleating. Fences will become a dense and solid green wall, if new shoots is pleated back into the fence. If you prefer a more open fence with the pleating showing, the new shoots are pinched. The Willow Garden is first and foremost a garden for kids, but we also hope it will inspire visitors to use willow in their own gardens.

Popular willow sculputures

Willow sculptures by British artist Tom Hare are installed on several locations in the Botanical Garden. You may already have noticed the five gigantic maple fruits (samaras; often called whirlybirds) – they are found along the road from the manor house towards Great-granny’s Garden and the museum entrance. Hare is inspired by Alice in Wonderland, and likes to enlarge small objects in order to make grown-ups feel like children again. We leave it to you to discover the giant onions, apple and mushrooms. Animal figures are placed in the Viking Garden. Dried willow is a perishable material, and the sculptures will eventually break down – and give rise to new life as they are added to the Garden’s compost.

Photos of Tom Hare's willow sculptures