Continued from page 42 of the April 2013 issue.
Photos by Steven Nikkila
Making the Tollgate Twist
- Cut stems such as dogwood, willow, kerria, spirea, etc. in 4- to 5-foot lengths. Must be fresh, cut recently enough or stored cool enough to retain their flexibility.
- A hammer or mallet and sturdy stake or pipe to punch post holes.
- Biodegradable twine.
1. Set three-part posts at 15-inch intervals along the desired fence line. Each three-part post consists of:
a. Two flexible weaving wands, 48 inches or greater. If the bottom 18 inches is rigid, not flexible, that’s okay but everything above that must bend easily. If the weaving wand has side branches you will treat the wand plus its twigs as one bundled unit.
b. One stout stake, its top at the desired finished height of the fence.
c. All with their butt ends securely seated in drilled or punched holes about 6 inches deep. Depth of the holes depends on soil type and finished fence height. Looser soil and taller fences need deeper holes.
2. Select a new 3- to 5-foot wand and weave it in and out around 3 or 4 posts. If this wand has side branches, treat it as one bundled unit. Pass alternately behind and in front of three-posts, and thread between each post and one of its weavers.
3. Grasp the left-side weaving wand of post group A. Bend it to meet B, the next post to the right. Wrap down and around the three branches that make up post B, beginning between post B’s stout stake and left-side weaving wand. Wrap around the horizontal wand. Leave this weaver wand’s tip trailing on the ground. If a wand should crack, don’t let it break through completely, or replace it if it does.
4. Now bend and weave post B’s right-hand weaving stem to the left. Thread it between post A and its free weaver, then wrap around that post group.
5. Weave to connect 4 or 5 posts. Then insert another 3- to 5-foot wand horizontally, as in #2, overlapping the first horizontal by half and alternating with it by weaving in and out between the posts.
6. Bend trailing tips of all weaving wands up to wrap around and run with horizontal wands. Tie with twine at intervals as necessary, or snug the wand tips into portions already woven.
7. Insert more 3-part posts and keep weaving.