A Homemade Wreath

It’s been a hive of festive activity at the Agents of Field HQ this past weekend; we bought and decorated the Christmas tree, foraged in the hedgerows for holly and ivy and other greenery with which to deck the halls, and created a homemade wreath for our front door. And it’s all looking just glorious!

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This year, we chose a very handsome Nordman Fir tree. We’ve named him Branwell (prompted by a recent discussion about the Brontës) and he’s looking resplendent in all his tinselled majesty. The rest of the house is festooned with boughs of greenery I collected from the fields just beyond our allotment, mostly holly, although I managed to find a little ivy as well. I also stumbled upon some small bunches of mistletoe at the nursery where we bought our tree, so a bunch of this now hangs conspicuously in a doorway, awaiting the moment when I can propel myself at an unsuspecting Ade.

I always think natural decorations are preferable to gaudy tinsel. I mean, sure, the tree looks good with a bit of bling, but we like to keep the rest of the house fairly natural; a poinsettia is the perfect centrepiece for our table, ribbons of holly and ivy deck the mantelpiece, but the pièce de résistance is the homemade wreath that graces our front door.

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HOW TO MAKE A WREATH

As I mentioned in a previous post about foraging, make sure you’re not trespassing on private land when scavenging for natural decorations and don’t deplete the hedgerows entirely; those berries you’re taking are food for wildlife! Only take what you need. I used the following:

A 10″ floral foam ring (£4 from my local craft shop)
Wire
Ribbon
Holly
Mistletoe
Ivy
Rosehips
Pine cones
Off-cuts from the Christmas Tree

I soaked the foam in water for a few minutes to begin with, before curling the wire around the ring and making a hook for the door. I pushed berried holly sprigs into the foam ring at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions and filled the spaces in-between with the rest of the greenery and the pine cones. I finished by tying the ribbon around the wire hook.

Once Christmas has come and gone and the party is well and truly over, I plan to dismantle the wreath and the greenery will be popped in the compost. I’ll rescue any berries and put them on the bird-table and the foam ring will be used again next year.

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Empty Beds

plot photo

How empty our plot looks from a few months ago. Although we’re still enjoying the last of the kale, harvesting the swede and broccoli, and next year’s garlic has started sprouting merrily, most of the beds are now having a breather. Ade has worked hard tidying these up, digging over the soil and enriching the earth with well-rotted matter so they can rest up over the winter. Come spring, the beds will all be super fertile (we hope!) and ready for some serious veg-growing action.

2015, we’re coming for you…

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