I cut wild plant materials in the winter between November and March as the sap is low and therefore cutting at this time is safer for the plants. It is a wonder how much variety you see there when you give time to yourself to wander and gather prudently. We can use long lash stems such as hazel, beech, ash, and dogwood, but also long privet, laurel, and less commonly tamarisk. Flexible climbers such as passion-flower, ivy and vines are valuable for the traditional celtic and gypsy basket design as it is used to tie the junctions with different knots such as Gods-Eyes/ Bridey's-Eye, etc.
The hedge has an important role to play for wildlife especially when laid and maintained in the traditional way because many creatures such as bees, spiders and dormouse like to live off the ground. Although of course horses and cattle enjoy leaves of lime and hazel, and so on, hedges can be abundant provision for humans too; I think this makes a lot of sense because wild and fresh food is often very high in nutrition. There are incredible-edible projects in places such as Todmorden (Up-North) and parts of Cuba where many plants in the hedge-rows are especially planted as they are safe for humans to eat and helps save the environment by reducing long food haulage. We can share our knowledge and stories of the hedge, as we work the wild and wonderful materials.
Hedge-Basket Workshops:A session can run from an hour to a full day. In a short session the materials are provided and we focus on their properties and the making of individual hedge-baskets.
For a longer session, we begin the day with a walk through the countryside, foraging and gathering materials from the wild for weaving while discussing different plants' useful properties.
Enjoy learning rare knowledge of an ancient craft of the hedge-witch, passed on first hand from traditional horse-and-cart Gypsies.
Immerse yourself in the abundance of nature's wild and forgotten materials to work with the Spirit of Bridget. Develop a deeper relationship with Nature and learn to use various materials to make a unique, colourful, decorative and useful basket to keep in your house or garden.
Each basket will be made from freshly picked materials, perhaps Jasmine and Rowan, or Birch and grasses, or Laurel and Privet. Make time away just for you, un-wind, relax and re-ignite a thirst for wisdom on plant-life while engrossed in doing and making.
"I have been making baskets for seven years and chose to pass on this experience to people in respect to the integrity of living close to the land. I found each basket was unique and gave them to friends as gifts and then began to show friends the basic structure and possibilities, with which they expanded their creativity. I am a member of "The Dorset Coppice Group."
Petra has led workshops at;
Miles Cross Farm in Symonsbury.
The Kingcombe Centre near Dorchester.
WAND (Women's Area Network Dorset).
Rumplestiltskin in Broad Windsor.
Highway Farm near Bridport.
Monkton Wyld Court near Charmouth.
And is in association with Treewise, in Dorset and The Woodland Trust.
There are some of my locally hand-made rustic hedge-baskets, currently for sale at: Fruits of the Earth; Bridport, Witchcraft; Glastonbury, Felicity's Farm Shop; Morecombelake, and Eco-logical You; Lyme Regis.
I have been invited to run classes with environmental educational centres; Kingcomb, Magdalen Farm, Craft and leisure groups such as rumplestiltskin and Highway Farm, hen parties, Weymouth College, Miles Cross Farm, and many more.
I am available for Basketry Workshops and Nature Crafts classes to WI groups, local halls, parties etc.
Please contact Petra by email on email@example.com or please telephone me on 01308 426501 or 07719 280375
Out of the Box Bridport vegetable box delivery scheme. www.artwithpetra.co.uk on-the-spot Cartoon and Caricature portraits for parties, weddings and corporate promotional events. The Olive Tree Mediterranean restaurant in Bridport.
Edible hedges:Edible Landscaping. Growing the Future. Tasty hedge scheme.