Ok, ok I know, this is waaaaay too late. I promised and I promised I’d get this out, but hey it’s been Christmas. Good will to all men n’est pas? Well men or bloggers who’ve been a bit slack
So about a month or so ago, I saw a question pop up in my newsfeed (Facebook, Twitter somewhere like that) asking whether anyone would be interested in a Christmas Wreath making workshop if Dylan’s Ice Cream held one. Ok two things; one I’ve wanted to learn to make my own Christmas wreath for years (I’m not great at following written instructions so was baffled by the tutorials I’d seen in books and online) and two, it was being held at our local ice cream cafe. Yes it’s December, yes when they opened everyone said they’d be lucky to make it past September, but boy oh boy do we love Dylan’s Ice Cream. So really it was a no brainer. Despite having no one to go with I signed up as soon as they confirmed they were going ahead with them.
I was welcomed by Ben, the owner proprietor, when I arrived. He asked if I’d like a mulled wine. Only I wasn’t expecting the beaker full of warming deliciousness I was handed. I didn’t mean to be feeling quite so full of Christmas cheer before we got started but there you go. I’m sure it helped the creativity to flow!
The chap leading the workshop was Peter Clarke of local company Cracking Gardens. Peter has been a gardener for most of his career and when he told us he used to work as Head Gardener for various National Trust properties and made wreaths for the doors of stately homes, well I knew we were in good hands. He started by explaining the different wreath bases available. The foam oasis, the metal ring and the branch ring made for something bendy, like Hazel. Peter likes all three but for us he’d decided metal rings were the way ahead.
We started by filling our rings with moss and bracken, securing it with florists wire. Then began the most enjoyable process of attaching foliage, in small ‘bouquets’, all provided by Peter (some I later found out from my friend Louise’s garden – with her permission of course!!!) I chose to make mine completely out of ewe branches, with fruits and various pieces of foliage added for decoration. At the time it looked wonderfully neat, however as time (and the weather’s) worn on I wish I’d made it more full, more diverse. The Ewe’s gotten pretty flattened by our British winter, as have the delicate pieces of fruit.
None the less I found the whole process completely absorbing. It was so much easier than I had previously imagined, although what I had imagined Im not really sure! The rings and wire are easy to get hold of both at florists and online and from there you can (if you so wanted) make the rest for free. It’s made me look at my garden in a completely different way (it’s also made me think about my friends gardens too – Claire Dennis I might come a knocking next year!) because thats the other beauty of the metal ring, once the season is over, the filling can be removed and the ring used again next year. Winner!
As it goes I was fairly thrilled with my first attempt at wreath making and am so glad I chose to do it with some guidance. Ben and Peter also ran a children’s workshop the following week. This would be a wonderful activity to share with a child, although probably one older than my boy! The sense of achievement at creating something so unquie and festive is wonderful as is evident in the smiles in this photo!