Igors is Head Gardener at Monart Destination Spa. Igors has been working at Monart for 8 years.
The maze is one of our main attractions here in the garden, tell us about the trees that are used to make the maze?
The maze is made of osier willow trees also known as sailix viminalis. It has long straight branches with greenish-grey bark. The leaves are long and slender.
The willow tree is not a very strong tree but it is perfect for our maze. It tends to spread quite easily but that works perfectly for us and the maze. The willow tree is a lovely tree to decorate with. It is an easy tree to maintain.
How many years ago was the maze planted?
This maze is around 10 years old. When these trees were planted first they were held together by rope. This was ideal as the trees could be grown in the direction that we needed them to be.
You can see here that we loop the trees together. We loop the trees together so they grow in the shape that we want. It takes about 2 or 3 years for the trees to grow in the right direction after you loop them together. You should keep a close eye on the trees when they are beginning to loop incase they come undone.
We cut the willow trees in November for the winter. The buds will appear in February or March, it depends on the weather. During the summer months the trees grow a lot so we prune the tree and then come November we cut the tree again.
How long does it take to cut the maze?
It takes around 3 or 4 days to cut the maze. There are 120 trees in the maze.
Why are some trees taller than the others?
They were all planted at the same time but some are taller from the way they were looped for the maze design.
The Willow tree will last forever if you look after it properly. The Willow Tree goes to sleep for the winter so a bad bout of frost won’t harm it.
In Ireland we are prone to strong winds and bad weather, do winds harm the willow tree?
No the tree won’t fall because the way we have planted it, all the branches are looped together and make each other strong so the branches won’t fall or break. Looping the tree together makes it stronger.
If someone wanted a willow tree at home, what advice would you give them?
It is a great tree to plant in your garden. The Willow Tree is a great tree to decorate with and it is a very pretty tree. If you are planting a Willow Tree at home just remember when the leaves start to fall you can cut the tree.
Every year nature is different.