Along the main path in the Azalea Walks before the Play
The winter stems of the white willow (above with yellow stems)
and the red stems of Siberian dogwoods deliver fantastic colour
throughout the winter months and contrast well to make a
The colourful stems fade and disappear as they get older so
every 1-2 years, in early spring; all the stems are cut off.
It looks fairly drastic but it doesn't harm the plants. As a result
of this pruning, the plants grow new colourful stems through the
spring and summer ready for us to enjoy in the following
White willows (Salix alba) are a native to the UK and
gets their common name from the white undersides of their
leaves. Willow wood is very flexible when it is young and has
been used for centuries to weave items like baskets and
fences. Here at Ness, we use it to make fun things too, like
the Giant spider that lives in Little Overdale woodland.
There is also a Willow Reindeer and Giant Rabbit outside our
Siberian dogwood (Cornus alba) was first introduced
into Britain in 1741 from Siberia. The variety planted along
the pathway is Cornus alba 'Sibirica', an undemanding shrub, which
apart from being pruned needs no othercare and attention so long as
it is planted somewhere it likes; sunny or part shade avoiding
excessively wet or very well drained soils. It also has quite
spectacular autumn colour.