A broom made of twigs tied round a stick.
Until pretty recently we all used such brooms made from whichever non-edible and suitable plant life grew plentifully and close to where lived. Calluna, the heather that grows freely on open moorland was a favourite throughout Europe for it’s bushy strength and fast regeneration. Birch twigs and many of the grasses and bast fibre plants that were not used for making yarn were tied into brooms. One of the most common of all was Genista, with it’s long and supple branches; the common name of this shrubby plant is of course ‘broom’.
Besom are still used and those who have tried them are often won over – at least for the autumn leaves on garden paths and for any front or back door step. Certainly these stiff yet pliable besom style of brooms are well adapted for such materials as slate, blue Lias and York stone. Stone that are inherently non slip has indentations, which can that hold garden debris and moss in damp areas.
These are the main types of sweeping brush use across the globe, where tradition and local materials carry relevant respect. Besoms are still used because they work at every level. They do the job, cost little, are easily made and easily replaceable, employ local materials that have little other use, and are totally biodegradable.