‘Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la la la la! ‘Tis the season to be jolly‘ Welsh carol dating from 16th century.
In this case it’s spruce but I’m sure you’ll get the idea 😉 Last Sunday, I went to a wreath making course at Ordsall Hall, a couple of miles from where we live. I’d decided earlier in the year to make our door wreath – My Chap usually comes home with a really blingy one from one of his florist pals. So I’d been on the look out for a course… the one at the Hall, you could bring your own greenery too….and it was a good price too.
How to make a wreath
Huge thanks to Kate from the Gardening team at the Hall – she was great. Do have a look at their plans for the garden for 2018. Their 1918-style allotment is back for 2018.
We could take cuttings from our garden so I took rosemary, some cinnamon sticks from the spice cupboard, pine cones we’d picked up from Worsley woods and some extra spruce branches. There was all sorts of things to add, sparkly ribbons, baubles etc, but I decided to keep the wreath fairly minimalist – and emphasise food 😉
- There was a ring of moss (on the back) and spruce branches on the ring already which I added to. It’s time consuming to make this yourself (and hard on the fingers) and we were only there for a couple of hours.
- Lay out where you want everything to go first, and think about the layers of decoration – branches first.
- It’s exactly the same principle to attach anything to the wreath, wrap the wire tightly around twigs and, and poke the wire through the moss and thread back through tightly and snip off. For the pine cones, wrap around the lowest level of
- Group things in odd numbers, as it looks more natural – same in gardening too.
- I tried dried chillies but they disintegrated 😦
- Remember to water your wreath carefully, with a jug now and again, otherwise the foliage will fade.
- After I took the picture on our front door I added bells on ribbons too.
- dried moss is available online (be careful about the weight you order).
- the ring is metal with an inner ring which contains the damp moss wired in. It’s possible to buy the rings online or at florist’s sundaries companies. They come in all sorts of styles – the Spring wreath has a flat two ring style.
- lime twigs (from Ordsall Hall Garden), new growth is bright green and red. Any Cornus (Dogwood) is a good substitute.
- cinnamon – wrapped with wire then covered raffia
- dried orange slices – tied in threes with wire.
I’ve made a few wreaths before, with willow, on courses up in Rawtenstall and at Lancashire WI, but usually haven’t taken many photos – but I’ll include some of these in future posts.
- Cathy who hosts In a Vase on Monday, had a holly door wreath she made on 4 December 2017. Quite a few people who follow the meme have made door wreaths – each one different and beautiful. There are so much foliage options – have you got something you could use.
- This week Cathy has hyacinths, honeysuckle and Salvia – Winter Beauties all of them.
- Here’s a spring wreath at Denman College In a vase on Monday (not)- Spring wreath – 10 April 2016. It’s a completely different style with straw covering bubblewrap around the ring (and some oasis hiding behind the red roses). Again the decorations are attached with wires.
I think I’ll make some more wreaths in 2018…maybe a different one for each month, as you don’t even have to use flowers… there are rag wreaths too.
Ordsall Hall, Salford – www.salfordcommunityleisure.co.uk/culture/ordsall-hall
Ordsall Hall is a Grade 1 listed, Tudor mansion, in the heart of the city; it’s entirely encircled by houses and businesses (Note: the 1960s tower block and 1990s houses on the right of the picture). It was extensively refurbished a few years ago with a Heritage Lottery Grant. It’s been owned since 1959 by Salford Council who’d used it as a local history museum. Most of my local pals can remember going there on school trips right up to the 1980s. It’s also supposed to be the most haunted building in Salford…there are three ghosts and a webcam.
Originally, the manor would have had a moat, with substantial lands, including farms. The manor house dates from 1175, with the oldest part of the current Hall is from the 15th century. Neighbouring manor houses, were either repurposed in the Industrial Revolution, (some were sold to America) but most were just demolished. There were no planning controls then. It staggers me that Ordsall Hall survived the Industrial Revolution but it certainly helped that it was used a working mens’ club from 1875 which existed in one form or another until 1940. In 1883 the Hall was bought by the Earl Egerton of Tatton, and restored during 1896–98 at a cost of £6,000 (£610,000 in 2017). The Earl set up a seminary from 1898 and a St Cyprian’s Church was built and more servant’s quarters. These were both demolished in the 1960s.
Neighbouring manor houses, were either repurposed in the Industrial Revolution, (some were sold to America) but most were just demolished. There were no planning controls then.
For the gardeners it has a knot garden, an 1918-style allotment, many heritage varieties especially fruit trees.
We visit it fairly often – it’s a really lovely building – it’s open Sun to Thursday throughout the year. It’s free to visit and has a very good tea shop too. You can follow them on:
They run many courses including fabrics, gardening and activities for children. I’ll definitately on a course again.*
Late – it’s never to late to change
‘The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something‘. Antoine de Saint-Exupery – Author of the Little Prince (1900-1944)
Once again I’m late with my contribution to the week’s vases – nearly a week late in fact,as I’ve had a great deal to do this week, preparing for Christmas. It’s going to be very different but I’ll write more tomorrow.
I cannot stress how much I agree with Antoine’s words.
Looking to the future
I’m not a believer, I echo these sentiments, peace and love to all in 2018:
‘Oh! like a wreath, let Christmas mirth To-day encircle all the earth, And bind the nations with the love That Jesus brought from heaven above’. Maud Lindsay, American Teacher, (1874-1941).
Oh, and remind someone important to you, how much you love them… it’s never too late.
Happy Christmas Eve everyone, though it’s already Christmas Day in Australia…
#bekind #365daysofselfcare #IamWI
Love Bec xx xx
Note: I paid full price for my course (£25) and wasn’t asked to write about the course on my blog.