Sunday, December 3, 2023

Wild Forage Wreath

 Today started out beautiful.  It has been gloomy and rainy and we have more rain and mixed precip on its way.  But this morning was warm and sunny and we were tempted outside just to do whatever.  Hose off the car, pull a few weeds. ...Sit and think.  This morning as we were coming home from breakfast I noticed that many of our neighbors had put out some greens and red bows.  Even the neighbors who are never home.  There are not a lot of outdoor decorations or lights because we are on a dead end and there just isn't a lot of traffic to enjoy them.  But I suddenly felt our home was looking kind of Scroogey.  I went as far as to pull out a wreath form and a paddle of floral wire.  Outside we had sat for about 5 minutes when I decided I should get going on my wreath while I could forage in nice weather and while I could keep the mess outside.

I've made many wreaths over the years.  My mother always makes beautiful Blue Spruce wreaths for gifts and my sister brings us one of those for our front door.  All I needed was a basic blob of green to go out front by the road.  So I can use anything I can forage and most of what we have is Hemlock which will drop every last needle before the end.  But its not going in the house and its not going on the door, so it can shed all it wants.  It isn't hard to find a nice variety in your average woodland and you can just trim the low cross branches or anything that smacks you in the head when you mow the lawn.

I ended up with Hemlock (from the yard), Spruce (from the dry creek bed), Pine (from the woods)  and Juniper (from the front landscape).  I considered adding some rose hips, but it turned out not to be necessary.  When making a wreath for a door I would usually use a wire coat hanger bent into a circle.  Those are the perfect size for your average door.  But I needed something a little bigger scale so I used a 18" (?) wire wreath form salvaged in past years.  All you do is cut up your branches to shortish tips, make a little bundle, lay it along the form and wrap the paddle wire around it.  You never cut the wire you just wrap it off of the paddle.

It was immediately apparent that I had underestimated the amount of greens I would need,  I wanted a big, full wreath.  But I didn't want to harvest too much unnecessarily, so I made several trips around the wood edge.  I added a bright red bow and wire tied it, top and bottom, to the front fence rail.  

Now it at least looks like we are making an effort!