Goosegrass rope

Goosegrass rope

I made a short length of rope to carry home these roadside twigs. This goosegrass was brittle and much more fragile than than my first sample, maybe more weathered by frost and wind. The twigs will make a colourful mini-basket. My conscience is clear about cutting them, they were growing out into the road, a danger to cyclists and passing cars 🙂

Goosegrass contd.

Here’s a photo of a lady gorilla preparing a goosegrass snack. She was photographed in Rwanda by Bill Wilson. Bill says that the plant is probably the same species of sticky willie as ours. He took the photograph on the edge of farmland – it’s likely we have given them quite a few of our agricultural weeds.

Goosegrass spring-roll
photograph copyright Bill Wilson

Goosegrass (what do you call it?)


Goosegrass, cleavers, sticky willie, Galium aparine, bedstraw.

I saw it on the roadside hedge, thought “that stuff is pretty tough when you’re trying to pull it off plants in the garden…”

The dried stems were more than six feet long and easy to pull off the hawthorn. Dozens of adhesive little seeds tranferred themselves to my hat. A car passed and I didn’t catch the driver’s eye.

I walked on up the road, twisting and turning the straw into rope. I tested it for strength and it was good. Ten feet of goosegrass rope to play with!

I kept it for a few days before deciding what to do with it, then stitched this basket with beeswaxed linen thread.

goosegrass basket

I left the last strands of straw free. I like the ‘wind in its hair’ effect.

The basket has a sweet scent, like a warm meadow.