I find wreath making one of the most absorbing of crafts. I get completely lost in it, forget all my worries, and, for a few hours, it allows me to block out everything that’s going on.
My love for this craft started by chance. About a couple of years ago, when I was about to throw some garden waste in my green bin, I noticed that the cuttings, all jumbled together, looked like the perfect components for a rustic wreath. I had a go at creating one, making it up as I went along, and I was really pleased with the end product. I’ve made a further seven since then, with differing levels of success. I love experimenting to see what does and doesn’t work. Whenever I plant anything new in the garden, I now consider whether or not it’s something that I’ll be able to dry and use later.
With all of the recent doom and gloom, I’ve felt the urge to make another one. Once again, it’s done the trick of completely taking my mind off things.
Nearly everything came from my garden. The base is made from a passion flower and it’s been covered with eryngium, poppy seed heads (left over from last year’s bumper crop), nigella pods and allium heads. It’s the first time that I’ve grown nigella and hopefully I’ll have even more next year.
I formed a circle out of lengths of passion flower vines and then wrapped longer strands round them to hold everything in place. I’ve discovered that the key is not to make the base too chunky, especially if you’re going to be wrapping other plants around it, such as ivy, as this will make it too bulky.
I inserted the allium heads evenly around the base, and then the eryngium. Both of these have thick stalks so they could be pushed through the gaps in the base quite easily. I had a few beechnut cases, that I’d picked up on a walk last autumn. I drilled a small hole into the base and threaded some florists’ wire through to hold them in place.
Next were the nigella pods. These were really tricky because of their brittle stems. I was able to weave most of them into the base, but a few needed to be glued or wired in position. I try and avoid doing this with my wreaths where possible so that they can go straight in the green bin when they’ve passed their best.
The poppy seed heads had stronger stems so they stayed in place more easily. Then I just kept adding more and more to fill in all the gaps – it was difficult to know when to stop.
The wreath started off with dried purple toadflax and ornamental grass surrounding the base, but I ended up removing them because I thought it looked prettier without it.
Out of all of the wreaths I’ve made, this is my favourite one so far. I love the pastel colours of the nigella pods. It doesn’t look anything like how I envisaged it at the start, but that’s the joy of this craft – you just go with the flow, make it up as you go along and, most of all, enjoy the process.