Something To Revisit: Planting A Pussy Willow In Our Yard

Back in Elmhurst, we planted a Pussy Willow (Salix Caprea) in our backyard next to our outdoor fireplace. I first came across it at Menards in 2011.  Bought and planted in 2011.  One year later, it was going crazy.  Here's how it looked in Summer 2012.  I liked the coverage the plant gave us, but we haven't planted one in our new yard despite seeing them at the garden centers the past few years. 


From the U of M post:
Pussy willows (Salix discolor), a large 15-20 foot shrub native to Minnesota and much of northern U.S. is one of the first plants to bloom in the spring. Pussy willows provide some of the earliest flowers and pollen for honey and other native bees. The foliage also supports native butterfly caterpillars.
They also posted a separate article all about this plant. From that story come a few things that I think are relevant for me.  First, they mention that the cuttings can be used for a wattle fence.  What?!  I've been thinking about a wattle fence for a couple of seasons now, but I don't have the material on hand.  This...would...seemingly be the answer?!??  (I don't seem to have posted about it, but I tried my hand at making the 'stand' for a wattle fence. Took a long, straight limb and stood up six branches from it.  Never got any material to weave on it, though...)

And...just like in the blurb above, they talk about the density of the stems and how one could build a living fence.  I like that.    And 'attracts birds and butterflies'?  What's not to like about that.  It also tolerates wet sites. 

Our landscape plan doesn't call for one, but it does call for some Arrowwood Viburnums all the way in the back of the yard.  Those Viburnums call for 'part shade' and so, too, does the Pussy Willow.  So...I'm wondering if one could work in the back there.  In fact, now that I took down that ratty Buckthorn, there's a need to provide some additional screening back there.  

Here - from this post from last Fall  - is the part of the plan I'm talking about the placement of a shrub like this in place of one of the Viburnum.   See the teal circle and arrow.




The idea that it tolerates water is also interesting.  I posted back in May of 2019 a few spots that I wanted to document standing water in our yard.  One of them is back in this general location.  With a little bit of contouring, I'm thinking that it wouldn't be hard to to move the water to sit at the feet of a pussy willow planted in this general area.

I'm now thinking that I should be shopping for one to get in this Spring.  Wattle material + screening = Gardening win.  

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