Once the Thanksgiving table has been cleared, holiday decorating season goes into full gear, and wreaths are an inviting tradition for doors and walls.
Creating a wreath with items found in the forest and in your own backyard is a good way to personalize your décor and create unusual and interesting designs that reflect what you love best about the Sky Valley.
“There’s always cedar. Almost everyone has cedar, but there’s other greens, too,” said Lori Heffner, who teaches wreath-making classes that are offered throughout the season at Monroe’s Pine Creek Nursery. “Think outside the box. Look around your yard.”
There are many kinds of wreath frames, but Heffner recommends a wire frame of the kind found in craft stores that have prongs that bend to fasten things to the frame.
Then pick the cuttings that will make your wreath unique.
“One thing that’s fun and funky is clippings from your huckleberry shrubs,” said Heffner. “Try curvy willow, anything with berries, and holly.”
An interesting and striking green base for a wreath can be evergreen magnolia sprigs or rhododendron cuttings. Look for juniper with blue berries, or cedar sprigs with berries. Strands of English ivy can lend a wreath an old-fashioned Victorian look.
And pine cones can be fastened with wire to the wreath’s frame.
A lot of great wreath foliage can be found in the backyard, but if you’re heading into the woods to get a tree, look for some wreath materials there, as well.
It’s legal to take as many as five pounds of evergreen cuttings per year from the forest, five pounds of cones from pines and firs, and a pound of moss, which can be an eye-catching addition to a wreath.
No permit is needed to take those items, as long as you don’t plan to resell any of them.
Some non-organic additions to your wreath could include ornaments, a ribbon worked through the foliage, or even Christmas lights.
And don’t be afraid to deviate from the standard wreath shape, either.
“Basic wreaths are kind of boring,” said Heffner. “It doesn’t have to be perfectly round. You can have things sticking out.”
If you need great ideas or want to learn more about wreath making, or if you want to learn to tie fabulous bows with which to finish your wreath, a class at Pine Creek Nursery is just the thing. Glen at Pine Creek is a former florist and is a master at creating beautiful bows and arrangements. Classes are ongoing on a daily basis and can be arranged to fit your schedule. They are also affordable, just $10 plus a materials fee.
“If people want to be on our email list, they can call here, and we are going to send out emails with our classes,” said Heffner. “Also call us at (360) 863-8866, or go to pinecreeknursery.com, or email email@example.com.”