Christmas Wreath Making

1 December 2017

Happy December everybody! It’s that time of year again, and the Bing Crosby “White Christmas” soundtrack has officially been dusted off… Last Friday, we held our annual wreath making session in the kitchen at the Mill, with our garden team of Emily and Debbie, and my mother Siobhan. This year, it’s been a bit more organised, with planning commencing many months ago. Throughout the past year, as they’ve tended to the garden, they have set various plants and flowers aside to dry for decorations, carefully stored in the garden shed up until now. All of the materials for the wreaths (bar the dried oranges) came from the surrounding hedgerows and our garden, so you can’t get much more local than that!

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This year, we’ve been making two types of wreaths – fresh ones for outside, and dried ones for indoor use. There are also two types of bases, made from willow and hazel. The hazel ones are a little more wild(!) and spindly, and the willow ones neater and more uniform. These are cut into strips and fastened into circles, to be decorated firstly with the greenery. Emily conditions the willow by soaking it in water, to make it easier to bend and fasten into shape. Next, a layer of greenery goes on, and lastly, the pops of colour, by means of berries, chillies, or flowers. No two wreaths are the same.

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We don’t use any artificial florists oasis foam, and simply fix the plants into position with a little ribbon and wire. Because of avoiding oasis, Emily recommends spraying the fresh wreaths lightly with a little water every other day to help them last longer.

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The decorations this year comprised of ivy, box, rosemary, holly, chilli peppers, bay, clematis, teasels, fir cones, pine, hebe, moss, pyracantha, and dried flowers, all hand selected by Emily and Debbie. These form a beautiful variety of greens, from bright emerald to dark woody moss, brightened with pops of red and orange from the flowers, berries and vegetables.

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Halfway through the wreath making hot jacket potatoes with fried halloumi and salad from the garden are served, followed by tea and cake. Next year, we’re hoping to open this up for people to join us with the floristry and feasting, so watch this space!

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If you want to purchase one of our Christmas wreaths, they are on sale in our Shipton Mill office near Tetbury, and also in Haberdashery Twist in Stroud. Prices start from £15.

Time to get merry! Xx