Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Not hating Christmas so far - part 2

The wreath.
Last Saturday (which I have some nice photos of for tomorrow) Andrew, Maggie and I went to the local forest. (Colloquial - 'Up the Dams'). We gathered seed heads and little beech twigs, willow whips, conifer, laural, holly and some berries. Andrew took all the heavy bits, I had my little harvest basket full of winter wonder - I felt a little like the lady of the manor gathering things with the head garderner for a dinner party centerpiece (wow, that is rather more embarassing to admit than I had thought).

Maggie had the best time too, we don't go up there often enough. We used to go more regularly but then the Lottie took over all our free time. But can't complain; in both cases we're outside in touch with nature and listening to the birds. Which reminds me of the recent research Mind did on Ecotherapy - they comissioned the Univeristy of Essex to compare the effects of a walk in a country park with a walk in an indoor shopping center on people with varying mental health problems.

* 71% of people reported a decrease in depression after the country walk
* 90% had increased self -esteem after the country walk.

But back to the wreath. Turns out they are very easy and satisfying to make. Back at the lottie, Andrew worked away and I got to making the base out of the willow branches and red dogwood stems (they came from a plant on our plot). This just requires lots of twisting around eachother and maybe a little twine every now and then if things are very springy. Then it was all  fun filling it in with the various leaves, seed heads, and berries. I would recommend florists wire at this point to hold them in place, a bit fiddly but worth it.

At home I tidied it up and added more (fake) berries and a ribbon. Andrew was going to put on his blue star lights and I was going to let him but praise be he changed his mind. What a relief!!!! It would have looked terrible and would have destroyed a lot of the more fragile elements. Phew!!

So here it is on our front door - I hope it says 'Welcome'. I'm pleased for a first try ever - next year will be better.

There are lots of other fab wreaths being made by bloggers here and here for instance, for more inspiration.


  1. Well done, that looks really good and it must give you a great deal of satisfaction knowing that it's all your own work! Flighty xx

  2. Berries and ribbon to match the paint on the door, and all brought to life by huge glossy green leaves. (What are they?)

  3. You did a great job Carrie!! How wonderful to make a wreathe from things you've gathered on your walk. Love it! :)

  4. Thanjs Carrie the idea of the willow wips was good I always used to use a coat hanger wire but yours sounds better. You well might be pleased with the finnished result.

  5. Beautiful wreath. It's so satisfying isn't it to do your own decorations.

  6. Hiya Carrie,
    I have lurked before and not commented. Visited your GGBD and see that you have already made a new post. It used to take me a week to get over posting the bloomday post.
    Love your festive Xmas background.
    Your Christmas Card is HERE

  7. Wow Joco - thank you for your visits and comment. Very impressed by the card so beautiful, thank very much.

  8. Hi Carrie, what a wonderful job you both did, or should I say all three? The lights would have detracted from the natural beauty, but you are a good wifey for having thought about allowing them if he wanted. As for the walking in nature, we will add our scientific results on the side of that over the indoor mall anyday. The best way to turn a frown into a smile is to go out into the garden. :-)

  9. My goodness Carrie !!
    You can help me make a wreath any time girl : ) that is wonderful .. mine is a scary fake one .. panic time here so even the thought of making one evaporates in nanoseconds ? LOL
    I would love to be able to grow a little Bay tree here (climate zone says NO !!) but bay leaves are my favorite .. and lots of greenery for scent would be wonderful ..
    Yes .. a walk in the country would be a drink for our souls .. there is NO doubt about that at all : )


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