The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 4,100 times in 2010. That’s about 10 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 4 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 18 posts. There were 20 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 12mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was September 25th with 45 views. The most popular post that day was About Musgrove Willows.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were musgrovewillows.co.uk, willowbasketmaker.com, blogger.com, en.wordpress.com, and facebook.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for how to weave willow, willow sculpture, coffin, willow maze, and willow craft.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

About Musgrove Willows May 2009
1 comment

2

Our Products May 2009

3

Courses at Musgrove Willows May 2009
2 comments

4

Weave a willow coffin course completed. June 2009
5 comments

5

Somerset Willow out and about July 2009

A very different day today as we are nursing a pooly duck in the office – I have to admit I am a little distracted! Poor things got an eye infection and cant see so he is getting a little TLC in the warm office. Also the summer holidays are getting too long for my boy and he decided to come to work with me. I think he has had a ball. Ellen has been very good with him especially as he keeps drinking her hot chocolate!  Amanda

We have booked a spot right next to the food hall – very convenient I hear you shout. This is not because of the food I assure you but because we are opposite our very own designer garden created by James Roberts who works with us at Musgrove Willows. He has designed “Simple Sustainable South West” incorporating creative willow fencing and raised beds, pergola’s and all plants native and grown in the South West. We are a bit nervous of this huge undertaking – facing off against some serious horticulturists but hope it will show how wonderfull and diverse willow and the Somerset Levels can be! Wish us, but particularly James the best of luck!

Mandy

At long last some lovely warm weather, even if todays course students are complaining its a bit too warm!

The last few months have been difficult with the weather keeping us on our toes. Thankfully, we managed to finish cutting and we have planted another 5 acres at Westonzoyland by hand in the last few weeks, this weather should give them a good start now.

Mike and Jack have also been busy with the maintenance of the willow beds ready for the new crop to start growing.

Trimming the withy bed.

 The white willow season is almost upon us and we need to bring in all the harvested willow, so we are hoping it stays dry for a while yet. Seems like the boys are going to be very busy for the next few months.
Amanda and I have  been busy with school visits and corporate events here too but we were also lucky enough to have a work experience student Lauren with us over the past week. She has been a great help and has gained office experience, participated in a corporate workshop and helped with the tourism side of our business, taking people on tours around the farm and explaining what we do here at Musgrove Willows.

Keep smiling Lauren and Amanda , it helps! : )

Lauren has even said she’d like to come back in the summer. She must be mad! 

We still have a few places left on the morning session of our Saxons Day workshop on June 1st. so if you are looking to do something a bit different over the half term holiday why not come along with the children and see how things were in the day of the Saxons.

Pre- Booking is essential so please ring Ellen or Amanda on 01278 691105 or 01278 699162 to book your space. We look forward to seeing you.

Great fun for the kids but not so good for cutting and drying willow.  I work in the office at Musgroves and have had to walk to work today in 4inches of snow which is unheard of for Westonzoyland! Thank goodness I am only 10 minuets away. The snow has made the farm look so pretty and we have been out taking photo’s. Mike and Jack Musgrove are in the boiling shed which although is warm by the boiler, is cold and wet once you step away. I dont envy them hauling the wet willow out of the boiler today. Ellen and I are tucked up nice and warm in the office and the other guys are in the sorting sheds with the big heaters going and all the doors shut tight. We are hoping TNT will make it down the lane for our deliveries today but who knows! Strangely, I am looking forward to my slippery walk home tonight-I hope I make it in one piece.

Amanda

I must have jinxed us when I mentioned all the rain the last time I blogged! Is that a word? We can’t find some of our willow beds at the moment, we know where they are but they are completely submerged at Hay Moor and Curry Moor yet again. So we won’t be cutting willow up there for a long while until it dries out!  

So can you spot our withy bed!  Clue… ………………………..High Hedge.  

Flooded willow fields at Curry Moor

  

The withy bed is just to the right somewhere beyond the high hedge.  

Thankfully we don’t have all our withy beds in one ‘basket’ (sorry!, place) and we can at least cut willow on some of the other 60 acres we have dotted about the Levels and Moors.  

At this time of year , we are busy cutting, sorting and getting Living Willow orders ready. So if you are interested in a Living Willow Structure for a garden, school or public space, do get in touch.  

We have some tried and tested, very suitable varieties that are hardy, easy to plant and disease resistant. If you are unsure and need more information or have any queries or need advice on Living Willow then do give me a call and I will guide you to the most suitable willow for your requirements. The best time to plant your Living Willow structure is in the New Year from late January onwards until April, weather conditions permitting. Don’t plant in the snow or frost though, we are happy to hold your order and despatch when you are ready to plant.   

 An established living willow structure will need to be trimmed and maintained during these next few months while the structure is dormant so that you get the most out of your living willow feature. This will  help it to continue to flourish, keep its shape but not get too overgrown and unruly.  

We also can supply willow cuttings or setts,  as we call them , for you to plant your own willow bed. Again we can advise on the best willows suitable for the  particular project that you have in mind, whether it is for basketry or for fuel production in the longer term. Out of the 60 different varieties that we grow here at Musgrove Willows I’m sure we will find one that is suitable for you. Just incase I don’t blog again soon…  

Seasons Wishes from the team here at Musgrove Willows  

 and we hope that 2010 will be a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful one for all.  

   

Yes, Winter hs certainly arrived with howling wind and rain just when Bridgwater Carnival kicks off, sadly!

Our greatest problem here at Musgrove Willows is , as with all farmers, competing with Mother Nature in time to cut our crop over the winter months.

Some days it rains so much, like today! , that we think it will never stop and we may be flooded out of some of our withy beds again.

Its a little early to say that yet, thankfully, but the change in temperature and the gusting winds mean that the leaf has falled off some of our willow varieties and we can at last start cutting some of the new crop in between the rain!

Our Living Willow kits are extremely popular , so if you are looking for a new idea for the garden or a children’s play area, why not consider a Living Willow Kit.

Working the Willow Exhibition (our part in the Somerset Art Weeks 09 event) was a huge success, not just from the point of view of visitor numbers, of which there were over 1,400, but also for the exhibitors and workshop instructors. We had over 160 pieces of work of 57 artists to view and buy and the talent of the artists, who came from across the globe, was quite phenomenal with huge quantities of praise being given to all. Amongst our visiting artists were Ellen Mette Nielson from Norway; Jo Mills; Fiona Hingston and Ivor Hancock. Our Exhibition also attracted a large number of very distinguished visitors including MP’s, Councillors and representatives from the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers and the Basket Makers Association. We were delighted to see the renowned Sally Goymer who is something of an authority in the world of willow and is Yeoman member of the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers and we were especially flattered by her comment that it was “the best exhibition of baskets I’ve ever seen in Great Britain”. Praise from Sally is praise indeed! The workshops were kept busy instructing on tension trays; stick baskets, plant climbers and garden structures, animal sculpture and 3d shapes. There were also workshops on hurdle making and basketry. Guest tutors were Tom Hare, Charlie Lupton, Sarah Ayling and Izzy Beasley alongside the regular instructors; Sophie Courtiour, Jo Mills, Fiona Hingston, Rebecca Board and James Roberts. So if you were amongst our visitors, thank you for coming and helping make it the success it was and if you were not able to come along, why not visit us anyway because we still have our usual workshops running along with displays and of course our rare breed ducks and friendly goats will always welcome you! It was a busy time but thoroughly enjoyable!

WORKING THE WILLOW EXHIBITION

WORKING THE WILLOW EXHIBITION

At last our exhibition Working the Willow is finally open.

Over the last few months we have been receiving exhibition pieces from Basketmakers, sculptors and willow weavers from all over the world, in fact we have over 160 pieces for you to view.

A visitor said, ” an exhibition to rival that of one held in London, inspirational!” 

Another added, ” It is amazing the diversity and the complex pieces that can be made from a piece of willow, it is fantastic to see the willow growing and all these different items made from that willow. This is not just about baskets its about sculpture and art!”

 Another said,” Thank you very much for the opportunity to attend your exhibition launch at Weston Zoyland. We enjoyed it and there are some wonderful things in it.  “It is very good show and we send our congratulations to all involved in organising an international event. I hope it gets wide coverage. We need a few more shows like this, putting the work of Somerset artists into a wider context.”

Why not come along and have a go at our drop in workshops or view the exhibition itself?

A PEEK AT OUR WORKING THE WILLOW EXHIBITION
A PEEK AT OUR WORKING THE WILLOW EXHIBITION

workshop arts weekWorking the Willow 2

It’s been a busy couple of weeks again here at Musgrove willows, we have completed the willow maze and had a visit from the Planning Inspectorate,  we keeping our fingers crossed for good news on that one.

We are busily getting everything ready for Somerset Art Weeks from September 19th – October 4th, when we will be holding an exhibition of Contemporary Basketry from makers all over the world as well as a Sculpture trail, with pieces made by local school children and works by National and International sculptors.

We hope to see you here!

Jasper

Jasper

Our pygmy goat Oscar

Our pygmy goat Oscar

If you do you will be able to meet two of our newest members of our team, Jasper and Oscar, our pygmy goats.

Just over 20 weeks old they are getting used to us, and will make great friends with anyone who wants to say hello. They are still a little shy but will eat out of your hand if you have got something nice to share!