My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Salix matsudana "Tortuosa" - Curly Willow, Chinese Willow, Tortured Willow, Globe Willow, Dragon's Claw, Hankow Willow

Salix matsudana "Tortuosa"

I wove three willow spheres for my Floral Art design Three Drops of floral chocolate.

Common name

Curly Willow, Chinese Willow, Tortured Willow, Globe Willow, Dragon's Claw, Hankow Willow

Origin

It is native to Northwestern China.

Varieties

Around four hundred species of Salix are listed. There are a few hybrids of the Salix matsudana but this cultivar is still susceptible to cankers and is weak-wooded and prone to storm damage.

Colors

Light green leaves

Vase life

Twigs in water will develop foliage that later yellows and drops. Will root in deep water. If the branches are kept in clean water it will last for a few years.

Scent

None

Uses

The most obvious is probably using willow stems in an arrangement but I love wrapping wire or test tubes with thin willow twigs and weave the stems into baskets, supports, accessories or panels. Recently, I began researching living willow sculptures as a possible addition to floral art. Living sculptures are created from live willow rods planted in the ground and woven into shapes such as domes or tunnels. Willow wood is used to make boxes, brooms and furniture and for the floral artist it has great manufacturing possibilities. The wood can be pulped for paper, or fibers can be made into string. It is also used as drawing charcoal.

Conditioning

Give the stems a fresh cut and whittle some of the bark away to allow the twigs to hydrate

Every week I add a new design with related tutorials. Be sure to subscribe to receive an email notification with design inspiration.

Related Designs

25 September 2019 Spin a tiny glue bead around a thin stem to secure it at an angle in a design

This is a trick for attaching fine details at exactly the right angle.

25 September 2019 Beaded wire Leaf

This week I show you the Tutorial for the wire leaf shown in my book on page 14 ... this time in copper.

25 September 2019 It’s one and a half to two times... but to the side

Soft minimal... this is exactly the kind of design I place in our apartment. Use a few fall treasures picked up on a walk and add a copper leaf to up the effort and love you add...

18 September 2019 Weave a burst of overgrown wildness wreath

This wreath is perfectly imperfect. Perfect for using those first few autumn (or preserved from last autumn) leaves.

18 September 2019 It’s a sugar rush!

A perfectly imperfect wild willow wreath to display the first Autumn treasures of the year.

11 September 2019 Weave a small wreath in the side twig of a willow branch to keep a flower in place in your design

This is both a decorative and functional design solution. But most importantly, I think, there is absolutely zero waste.

11 September 2019 Transition into Fall

A sustainable, absolutely no waste floral design using willow to suspend your flower head in your arrangement.

13 February 2019 Willow and Rose heart armature

Weave willow stems into a heart shaped armature.

13 February 2019 Pick Love

Craft a willow heart to display 12 red roses to celebrate Valentine's Day.

2 January 2019 Eucalyptus tinsel garland

Wire seeded Eucalyptus into a long tinsel garland.

2 January 2019 One New Year’s Wish

Wire a sparkling tinsel garland to dress up a single, elegant Arum lily.

12 December 2018 Availability of plant material shows in your design style

The last design I did for my book launch demonstration looking at aspects that influences my effortless style of designing... this week: often when we see a design element...

28 November 2018 Crafting a stripped bark and sisal armature

Make a free standing armature with three water tubes for fresh flowers.

28 November 2018 Crafting

The second design I did for my book launch demonstration looking at aspects that influences my effortless style of designing.

21 November 2018 Crescent willow moon

Craft a crescent shaped willow armature

21 November 2018 Rules!

The first design I did for my book launch demonstration looking at aspects that influences my effortless style of designing.

21 November 2018 The effortless floral craftsman, a floral crafter's guide to crafting with nature Book Launch Demonstration

My book launch demonstration was hosted by my flower-buddies from the Capilano Flower Arranging Club. We looked at what influences our own effortless style... that "thing" that...

14 November 2018 Create a break in a willow twig to support a flower stem

Break a willow twig at and angle to support your flowers

14 November 2018 For just this moment… let’s take a break

Simplicity to showcase the perfection of the Lisianthus buds

11 April 2018 Pick up any bits of plant material floating in the water

Use a wet brush to lift any tiny bits of plant material floating on and in the water to keep your container clear.

11 April 2018 Designing with refraction

Only a few stems create an impressive display if you allow the water to design with you.

11 April 2018 Follow the line

Stack a few glass containers and fill each with water to a different level.

14 March 2018 Willow birdcage

Weave a willow birdcage to use as a wedding ring box

14 March 2018 Old, new trends

My article and willow birdcage design for wedding rings featured in DIY Weddings Magazine.

22 November 2017 Acorn fork

Wire and glue a few acorns into the fork of a twig to create an Autumn armature

22 November 2017 How do squirrels Cache a tree?

Hoard a few acorns in the fork of a twig to show off a single oncidium orchid.

1 November 2017 Pierce and stack fall leaves to rest on the edge of a container

Use one leaf to keep the next in place

1 November 2017 A Round

Create a delicate design that rests lightly on the edge of a container

25 October 2017 Willow Paddle

Weave willow between the fork in a twig to create a paddle like armature

25 October 2017 When the pretty eyeballs you back!

Barely there skeleton blossoms with Eucalyptus eyes for my Halloween design... Oh! and a Willow Paddle, which probably should have been the main Tutorial... but... well...

12 July 2017 Sparkler

A radiating twig design

21 September 2016 I found it this way: Spiderweb design

This was the first design I did in my "I found it this way" floral art demonstration

21 September 2016 "I found it this way" demonstration Floral art Structures: Twig Tangles

For my "I found it this way" Floral Art demonstration at The Capilano Flower Arranging club, I began all four of my designs with basic armatures made of Twig Tangles and we...

7 September 2016 Willow flower crown

Loosely weave willow tips to create an ethereal crown

7 September 2016 You are all invited!

My article and Willow Crown design featured in DIY Weddings Magazine

17 August 2016 Strangeness

Weave a wreath to display air plants on

3 August 2016 Practice

Weave a willow bird nest

15 June 2016 Weave green strips of willow bark into a nest

Strip bark from willow to eave and set into a shape

15 June 2016 One tug

Weave willow bark strips into a nest and weave a bird from flax

8 June 2016 Stripping bark from willow sticks

Strip the green bark from the stems to expose the smooth wood

8 June 2016 Popsicle Stick Square Armature

Glue Popsicle sticks to create a double layered, upright armature

8 June 2016 When the wind whisper

Glue a fantasy forest from Popsicle sticks, grape vine tendrils and willow tips

20 April 2016 Free standing Willow twig armature with a hidden water source

Cut a few willow twigs to split to create legs for the armature

20 April 2016 That Will Be

Freestanding willow twig armature design

6 April 2016 Take it for a Spin

Make a clear grid to suspend plant material on

23 March 2016 Celebrate!

A closer look at my design at the 20th anniversary of Canada Blooms and The Toronto Flower Show

16 March 2016 Creative Expectations

My article and a floral parasol design featured in DIY Weddings Magazine

24 February 2016 Willow Spring

Set willow tips into a spiral to create a spring design

24 February 2016 How to make an early Spring

Roll and set willow twigs into a spring

27 January 2016 Sprouting willow armature

Carefully manipulate and bend green willow stems to place in water to sprout as an armature for tulips to mature and open

27 January 2016 Well, I'll be

Manipulate fresh willow stems to create a sprouting armature for long tulip stems

25 November 2015 So white

A dried Baby's breath and fresh orchid wreath

30 September 2015 So

A willow sphere to display your first Autumn treasures.

19 August 2015 Growth Medium

Design a bark and moss pod for a mushroom mini farm

8 July 2015 How To Catch A Dream

Take inspiration from a traditional Dream-catcher design to create a floral armature

24 June 2015 Staying connected

My article and a floral cell phone re-charge station design featured in DIY Weddings Magazine

13 May 2015 Encased

Design Three from my Inspiration Video: Use the same floral ingredients, willow twigs, Lichen, Spanish Moss, Kalanchoe and Gypsophila to make three distinctly different...

6 May 2015 Tape and Wrap

Design Two from my Inspiration Video: Use the same floral ingredients, willow twigs, Lichen, Spanish Moss, Kalanchoe and Gypsophila to make three distinctly different contemporary...

30 April 2015 Willow twig Corsage Platform

To create a layered look for a corsage tie a foundation of twigs with fresh willow stems

30 April 2015 Layer

Design One from my Inspiration Video: Use the same floral ingredients, willow twigs, Lichen, Spanish Moss, Kalanchoe and Gypsophila to make three distinctly different contemporary...

8 April 2015 Just think!

Weave a nest for chocolate Easter eggs

25 February 2015 Just So

Twirl a few willow twigs to create a balanced armature to display orchids

11 February 2015 Willow Heart Wand

11 February 2015 Stripping foliage from weaving stems

Remove foliage from stems to weave with

11 February 2015 Love Spell

Weave willow to create a heart shaped wand design

28 January 2015 The difference between detailing a sprouting stem for a floral design and pruning a stem

Give the stem a closer cut to detail for floral art

28 January 2015 In a State of Flow

weave some willow to use as an armature

4 December 2012 'Tis the Season

My article looking at contrasts and 6 winter lantern designs featured in the DIY Wedding Magazine

27 November 2012 Winter Woodland Chandelier

Wrap vines and twigs around a wire frame to create a decorative woodland chandelier

5 June 2012 Flower Girl’s Butterfly Net and Ring Bearer Bug Box

Two fairy tale design details that will capture the imagination of even the youngest members of your wedding party. A tiny bug box to carry your rings in for the ring bearer and...

25 January 2012 Weaving Willow spheres

I build up the spheres by weaving willow wreaths and then use those to shape the ball

25 January 2012 Three Drops of Floral Chocolate

The design drips down in three tiers each celebrating life, love and connection.

10 December 2011 Twist a twisting Wire Angel

Just a few twists are required to make this Wire Angel

1 November 2011 Weaving a twig wreath

For my design I wanted the wreath to look wind blown so I added a few loosely woven twigs into the weave. I also wanted to emphasize the autumn colours so I added a twirling...

1 November 2011 On The Street Where You Live

A floral design snapshot of what it looks like when walking down the streets of Vancouver this week.

7 October 2011 Thanksgiving Harvest

Thanksgiving pumpkin with Chinese lanterns and spiral blossoms

8 March 2007 In the Summer Time Floral Art Demonstration

This was my first Floral Art Demonstration as a member of the South African Flower Union and the World Association of Flower Arrangers

13 April 2011 Wind Spinner

My inspiration for my Harnessing the Wind design was a wind spinner.

11 April 2011 Glass

A small pane of glass connects the top and the bottom of the design

26 April 2011 Weave a willow twig blind

Weave twigs in parallel to create a twig blind with strong but natural horizontal lines.

26 April 2011 Natural stem hook to hang plant material from

Side stems of branches can be used as hooks to hang floral material in a design.

4 April 2011 "A New Age" Child's Midnight Meander (Avatar)

A New Age Child's Midnight Meander

13 April 2011 Harnessing the Wind

1 April 2011 The Plant Material used in the Demonstration

I wanted my design to feature mostly growing plants- creating a natural display on the supernatural wreath.