Fresh AfieldMore posts

Your Own Wreath from Nature

Dec 12, 2007

wreathondoorCelebrating the holiday season with the help of nature’s bounty is a comforting break from going from store to store. I really like the simple act of collecting things outdoors. It gives you a chance to pay attention to what’s there in the still winter woods and fields.

Our exhibits coordinator, Martha Daniels, and I were talking the other day about the pleasure of making our own wreaths. I’ve done them now and then for years, but knowing Martha, I suspected (correctly) that her wreaths had more style than mine. She was about to put a new one together, so I asked her to send me a photo so you could get a sense of it.

Grapevines that you gather in the woods can be just woven together to form a circle for the basic form. Cedar boughs can be stuck into the vine to add shape and and a great smell. If you find some with the blue berries, that adds more color. Pine cones, leaves and the red seedheads of sumac can be wired or glue-gunned on. Martha mentioned that she had collected some great feathers from a pheasant hunt one year. Of course, if you wanted to be a purist you wouldn’t need to add a ribbon…but that may be carrying earthiness a bit too far.wreathontable

If you don’t have grapevine handy or don’t want to put a wreath together, you can still go out and collect cedar and other things for simple collections on the dining table. One tip a retired forester, Gene Brunk, told me: female cedars have softer needles—they’re much easier on your hands. (The article I linked to on cedars earlier suggests it’s other factors that affect the sharpness, but all I know is I pay attention to what I’m cutting now before I take cedar home for wreaths or the table.)

Recent Posts

MDC Director Bob Ziehmer and members of the Conservation Commision perform the ground breaking ceremony for the new Busch Shooting Range

Construction on the new Busch Shooting Range has begun

Jun 07, 2016

The new shooting range at the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area just took a huge step closer to becoming a reality.  The first dirt has been turned and construction is under way!

The Kids Who Were Afraid of Snakes

Feb 11, 2016

Twin Pines’ Naturalists bring a slithering sign of summer to Willow Springs elementary on a cold winter’s day.

Fly Tying

First Flies

Feb 03, 2016

There's something very special about the first fly you ever tie. It won't be your best, and it might not be your worst, but chances are it will be your favorite.