The Kilmarnock Willow (Salix caprea ‘Kilmarnock) is a beauty at this time of year – a weeping head of stems top-worked (grafted) onto a trunk – of short, medium or tall proportion – with long, straight trailing stems studded with silky furry dormice (catkins I mean).
At other times of year I think you might pass it by – though it is a manageable tree for the smaller garden and is well-behaved – the catkins are the thing. Very, very tactile. My neighbours had a Christmas Wreath on their front door a few years ago, with these pearly little catkins neatly following nose-to-tail in concentric circles. Beautiful and much stroke-able.
So I shall admire them while they are ‘in season’ and look forward to them next year, but I shan’t be buying one just yet. If these specimens should suddenly go bald, ah well, then you might guess I’m quietly crafting a bespoke wreath… ssschhh!