Woodland Shade Gardening

Woodland shade gardening with a purpose – pleasure, creativity, rainwater collection!

Braiding for Garden Art

It is that time of year again – time to watch the jonquil and daffodil foliage begin to weaken and flop on the ground in all those lovely starburst patterns.  But, we don’t always want the starburst patterns in all our garden areas.  And, sometimes, seeing the jonquil and daffodil foliage standing, without all those striking spring flowers still in bloom, distracts from other perennials that have emerged and are growing into their larger summer sizes.

The jonquils and daffodils were wonderful, as were their blossoms, but their time is past.  Of course, I can’t just cut the foliage off and dispose of it, because I know it is necessary to let it slowly wither, feeding the bulbs beneath the ground, for more blossoms next spring.  So, I decided to braid the foliage and tuck the loose ends underneath the coiled braids.  This is not my original idea, but an idea another gardener had, about which I read in a magazine article many years ago.  At the time, I thought it was a bit wacky, but this year I decided to give it a try.  Actually, it’s a lot of fun.  The different types of foliage, at their different stages of standing or flopping, make every braid look different.  Not only look different, but handle differently, due to different degrees of pliability.

My first attempt was to grab three groups of foliage and begin a circular ‘French Braid’, picking up more foliage as the braid progressed.  Then I tried some tiny ones, then…  Well, I will just let you view these little pieces of useful green art in my gardens.  It really does make a difference to view the summer plants with this foliage braided neatly into little baubles, being a bit more discreet.  And I was very, very careful to handle all the foliage gently, and not break or bend the vascular system inside these blades of foliage.  Give it a try – it’s even more fun than doing needlework!

Foliage - Freeform  braids with a twist

Foliage – Freeform braids with a twist.

French Braid near a wet-weather faerie pool :)

French Braid near a wet-weather faerie pool 🙂

French Braid - from a distance

French Braid – from a distance.

Foliage - Mama and two babies

Foliage – Mama and two babies.

Foliage - Little ones, big ones

Foliage – Little ones, big ones.

Foliage - Grouping

Foliage – Grouping.

Foliage - Group in a nest shape

Foliage – Group in a nest shape.

Foliage - Group in a nest shape with size reference

Foliage – Group in a nest shape with size reference.

Foliage - Giant French Braid 'turban'

Foliage – Giant French Braid ‘turban’.

Foliage - Giant French Braid  'turban'

Foliage – Giant French Braid ‘turban’.

Foliage - Braid with a feather tail

Foliage – Braid with a feather tail.

What a difference a braid makes - how many do you see in this picture

What a difference a braid makes – how many do you see in this picture?

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This entry was posted on April 28, 2015 by in Uncategorized.
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Woodland shade gardening with a purpose - pleasure, creativity, rainwater collection!

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