A Way with Willow: Basket-Materials Farmer Howard Peller’s Handcrafted Willow Structures


Multicolored Willow Stacked sticks

 “Farming willow and making baskets exemplifies the way I personally link an agrarian way of life with an artisanal handcraft. I use the willow I grow on our farm in Roseville, Ohio to make baskets and garden structures that serve as useful and purposeful objects in everyday life.”

Willow farmer Howard Peller not only grows 20,000 plants in over 100 varieties of willow on his 140-acre farm in the center of Ohio, he creates with the willow as well. His play structure installations for nature playscapes, arboretums, and children’s gardens can be found throughout the United States. Peller’s Central Ohio designs close to the farm can be enjoyed at the Children’s Garden at Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Dawes Arboretum in Newark, Ohio, and the nature playscape at AHA! A Hands-On Adventure Children’s Museum in Lancaster, Ohio. Howard provides willow for nature playscape leader Rusty Keeler’s Earthplay online store. His willow also became part of the woven structure of the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus.

Willow Archway Garden Path

Franklin Park Conservatory Columbus, Ohio

Using Willow for Arts and Crafts

“Basic metal tools of billhook, knife, shears and awl allow me to harvest and create wonderfully useful articles for personal living.”

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