Phil Bradley, a Cumbrian Willow Weaver has added new willow sculptures for RHS Garden Harlow Carr
On 6 September a new willow trail around RHS Garden Harlow Carr, created by willow craftsman Phil Bradley, was opened. Visitors can enjoy a walk that brings together Phil’s beautiful willow craftsmanship, from sculptured wildlife characters such as his popular boxing hares, to willow spiling and living willow fences.
Phil grows more than 60,000 willow plants on his 3 acre farm in the Lake District and spends his time teaching willow working and creating willow sculptures, having created many installations in the garden at Harlow Carr over the past 15 years.
Phil says; “I work with greenwood, particularly willow, and am obsessed with the home-grown and the handmade. I have been working with willow since 1990 and my imagination has been captivated by this truly amazing plant. Willow is the perfect example of a sustainable material that can be woven into sculptural or pragmatic forms with such spontaneity.
“I am a basket-maker by training and grow all of my own willow (38 cultivars) in Cumbria. My willow is grown without any reliance on pesticides or artificial fertiliser and is the starting point for a story that reflects a creative process based on environmental integrity. Connecting with people and places and sharing my love of making things is all part of my work. The willow sculptures that I have helped build at Harlow Carr over the last 15 years have been a collaborative process, working with the garden team in this most inspirational place.”