How To Make A Willow Arch For Your Garden…For Free

Go out, go out I beg of you
And taste the beauty of the wild.
Behold the miracle of the earth
With all the wonder of a child.

~Edna Jaques


The miracle of Spring is now very close. Birds are beginning to sing and all over the woodland gardens of Bealtaine Cottage, life stirs.


I am sharing this post with you all today, as Willow can be collected at this time of year and used to great beauty in the garden.

This is How To Make A Willow Arch…


Making a Willow Arch for the Lughnasadh Garden…this is a living arch and will provide food for the Bees.


Take two long lengths of Willow.Any length over 6ft will do! All long Willow is suitable for this project. I used a mix.


Strip off leaves…no need to do this in winter or early spring.


Insert each piece into earth on either side of what will be ab entrance…so, 2-3ft apart will do!


Push each piece of willow in a minimum of 3 inches.

It will soon root!

Wind the tops together over your head.

This will be the finished height, though it will continue to grow!

Next, add more lengths near to the first two and twist around the willow frame…


Twisting will tighten and strengthen the arch.


Add more lengths and use each new one to tighten and straighten the arch…pull into shape as you twist.


If you feel you,re not getting the shape you want, lengths can easily be removed and you can start again…don’t be afraid to experiment!

Now add a second arch about 6-10 ins behind the first.

Once in line, insert some more willow by this new arch and pull the lengths forward to the first one…about halfway up the structure as seen here.


Do the same on the first arch, pulling the lengths onto the second, so both criss cross.

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You may add some more Willow…but this is the structure safely in place, where it will continue to grow and thicken.

dsc02907 (1)This will form one of the entrances to the new Lughnasadh Garden.

There is a selection of books written by Colette O’Neill at Bealtaine Cottage, available here…the bookshop supports the entire work of the Bealtaine Project.


A Cottage and Three Acres

Please email Colette if you would like a particular inscription in your book. From a desolate cottage set in 3 acres of monoculture sadness, to a vibrant, thriving food forest of life…the journey back to Eden over 13 years… Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.



In Search of The Goddess Rising

This is the second book in the Goddess Permaculture series from Colette O’Neill at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland. In this book I explore the ancient landscape, mythology, literature and life around Bealtaine Cottage… in search of the Great Goddess. The price of the book includes all postage and packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.



Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter

A little Yuletide book filled with colour photographs, recipes, reflections, lore, poetry and mirth to guide you through the wonderful days ahead. Fifty pages of sheer delight from Bealtaine Cottage to you. The book is fully bound and can be posted direct as a gift. Price includes P&P worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.



Magical Mythical Map of Bealtaine Cottage and Gardens

Beautiful map created by the artist David Gascoigne, especially for Bealtaine Cottage. The picture shows one side of the map…it is printed on both sides, see the photos on this page. The price includes all Postage and Packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.



  1. Dear Miss Collette,
    Thank you for this knowledge , now firmly planted in my old brain!
    I live in the USA and don’t have any willow on my property, where can I find/get some?
    Any suggestions would be so helpful.
    Thank you dear! Sue Castagna

  2. I just ordered your book. Can’t wait. I love your blog, how admirable you are and what an inspiration to me.

  3. Every day is Earth Day. May every day be happy for you! Thank you for sharing the info on how to make willow arches. The circle of arches you’ve made is beautiful. Blessed be.

  4. Hello Collette,Are you still hosting visitors a s a Bed and Breakfast? I have been enjoying your efforts for years.  My daughter, granddaughter, and I are traveling to Ireland in 2020, August, and I have a dream of staying at your B&B. Evangeline”Angie”Moen

  5. I never knew how they were made before, so thanks for teaching me something new. That does seem straightforward. Did you just cut lengths from a mature willow tree or were they from coppice?

  6. Well I know what I’m going to be making this weekend . Thank you for showing us how to make it . I think they look wonderful in your garden . Blessings to you all xxxx

Your comments are welcome!