Monday, 11 April 2011

Handmade Natural Twig Wreaths at Lovegrass Farm

Grey Birch Twig Wreath

We make Natural Twig Wreaths and Arches with twigs and vines we collect from Fields and Forests here on P.E.I.  My Sister-in-law; Kelly, inspired me a couple of years ago when she showed me a Grey Birch Wreath her sister had given her that was made in Nova Scotia.  Wreath making always reminds me of special times with my Sister in Nova Scotia many years ago collecting brush in the woods and making fir wreaths with her.  Bev was a Champion Wreath Maker!  We don't have a machine for making wreaths (perhaps in the future) so I do them by hand with pliers and vise grips using clamp rings or wire wrapped rings.  We usually collect the twigs in November when the trees & shrubs are dormant and the leaves have fallen off.  We collected and made more this Spring as well.  We now offer larger wreaths (over 50" (125 cm.) in diameter) while our small size run about 20" (50 cm.) in diameter.   The large wreaths would look great on a large door, on the side of a garage or barn or in a large entryway.

Bronze Larch Wreath

We use Grey Birch, Speckled Alder, Red Osier Dogwood, Sweetfern, Larch, Wild Blueberry, Beech, Wild Raisin & Winterberry.  These can be hung indoors or outdoors & can last for years.  We're learning that some are more suitable for outdoors; Winterberry, Wild Raisin & Dogwood.  The moisture in the air must keep them from drying out & help them keep their color.  Red Osier dogwood will darken to almost a black color indoors.  Winterberry will, of course, drop its berries indoors & Wild Raisin will shrivel & lose color.  However we've had a Wild Raisin hung outdoors now for a year and a half and it still looks good.  The Blueberry Vine Wreaths are smaller, about 20 in. (50 cm.) in diameter and well suited indoors.  I like the Sweetfern indoors as well for it releases a lovely aroma.  We have Larch trees that I discovered make beautiful wreaths (very out of the ordinary).  I never noticed the different colors of the larch branches when they were dormant until I started making wreaths with them.  I chose to call 3 of the kinds we make; Bronze, Gold, & Blonde.  The Bronze & Gold in particular are really showy when the light reflects on them.

Red Osier Dogwood
We make a very limited quantity.  We have sold them at the Farmers Market in the past but we are not attending the Market this year so we will be selling them at Lovegrass Farm.  My eyes are always searching for something suitable to turn into wreaths now whenever we go for a walk or drive.  It has sure helped me to identify shrubs in the wild and appreciate our natural landscape even more.