'Willow Bough' is one of William Morris's most enduring wallpaper designs, in continuous production since 1887. The design consists of willow branches that form a diagonal branch pattern over the plain background. As he eloquently expressed in his lecture ‘Hints on Pattern Designing’, a successful design should combine a degree of abstraction with a gentle reminder of the outdoors rather than a few "sham-real boughs and flowers, casting sham-real shadows on your walls, with little hint of anything beyond the Covent Garden in them".
In 1874, Morris had designed a similar wallpaper called 'Willow', a simpler stylised representation of willow branches. 'Willow Bough' is a more naturalistic version of this earlier pattern with curling leaves in tones of green.