Living Willow from Willows Nursery

How to make a living willow dome

These are brief instructions to show how easy it is to make
a simple living willow dome – more detailed instructions are sent with the kits.

Please visit our ‘Living Willow Dome & Bower Gallery to see more photographs
of living willow bowers/domes and playhouses of different sizes and designs.

Please visit our Living Willow Kit Prices page for full details of the kits
we offer and see our FAQ’s page for further information and advice.

Work out how wide you want the base of the dome to be and ‘draw’ a circle on the ground.  Push 8 of your longest whips into the ground (about 6 to 9 inches is sufficient for them to root – go deeper if you wish).

Space them evenly – leaving an opening for the entrance – as wide or narrow as suits your plans. Bend over two opposite whips, wrap them around each other where they overlap and tie together. Do the same with opposite pairs.


Add 2 willow whips as ‘diagonals’ in each gap – except at the entrance.

Planting diagonally encourages denser growth.

Ideally weave the diagonal whips ‘in front of one vertical
and behind the next’ as this makes the structure more rigid – although tying the whips together will also help while you
are working especially towards the tips. You could join the ‘diagonals’ to create semicircles – rather than just leaving
them to end in a straight line.

For a more dense structure add extra diagonals.

New growth will start to sprout in March/April and can be woven into the structure, as soon as it is long enough, to give more strength and shape – this is actually the fun part of having a ‘living’ structure.

 Where the diagonals go across the entrance simply bend them back
around the vertical whip and weave them back into the criss-cross pattern.

This is the same living willow dome a couple of years later in full summer growth. The new growth can be woven into the structure, cut off as it grows, or left for a shaggier wilder appearance, if you prefer, and not trimmed until winter.

You can work out your own design of dome/playhouse/bower and order the number of whips you need, or you can buy one of our dome kits which follow the above approach.

The photographs below show the small playhouse (Kit WK112) in growth and the standard dome (Kit WK105) as just planted.

Living Willow Small Dome Kit
Living Willow Dome Kit
Living Willow Dome Kit

Please visit our ‘Living Willow Dome & Bower Gallery to see more photographs
of living willow bowers/domes and playhouses of different sizes and design

We have the following Living Willow Dome/Bower/Playhouse kits for sale

Standard Dome/Playhouse/Bower  WK105
Small Dome/Playhouse  WK112
‘Adapted’ Dome/Playhouse/Bower  WK107
Large Dome/Playhouse/Bower  WK121
Standard Half Bower  WK111
Large Half Bower  WK124

Please visit our Living Willow Kit Prices page for full details.

Please see our FAQ’s page for further information and advice.

This is a new version of website and online shop for us and we hope that your purchase goes smoothly - but please get in touch with us if there are any problems at all. Thank you. Les & Anne Dismiss