I have an annual tradition of making wreaths for my mother and sister. I usually start sourcing things from the garden at the end of the growing season, but a few things I harvest earlier and preserve. These wreaths usually only look good for a few months, but that doesn’t matter, since they know another one is on the way the following year.
DIY Garden Crafts
I’m really not very crafty. I love the process but I can’t tell you how many unfinished or unsuccessful projects I have done over the years. There was the sweater I knit for my dad. I swear I followed the pattern, but when assembled, the arms were so long they would have gone way past his finger tips. I donated it to a thrift store in hopes someone out there had really long arms and could get some use out of it. My garden is the source of many of my projects, from handmade gifts to in home potpourri.
These annual wreaths started out as a visit to my local craft store decades ago. I had just acquired a hot glue gun and was itching to try out this little tool. Armed with my gluing device, I convinced myself that something wonderful could be made by me for my loved ones. The initial wreaths were just made of a frame and some purchased fake fruits and flowers. They were okay but were kind of cheesy and fake looking. The initial DIY wreath was on a Styrofoam round. Over the years, I have been using more natural garden wreath décor, including willow bough frames that I make myself.
How to Make a Garden Wreath
The items that I put on my wreaths vary. I have used dried orange slices, flowering herbs, preserved flowers, leaves, twigs, and pinecones. I once even made an entire wreath out of lavender stems, but it didn’t last very long. It certainly smelled lovely, however, since I included blooming stems. I have harvested rose hips and dried them for their bright orange color, picked up bright fall leaves, saved berries from various plants, and more. Last year, I needed to prune the red twig dogwood thicket and saved the branches. They were the base for my homemade wreath and further adorned with some dried herbs. Very simple, but also very easy.
Much of what I grow I use in the kitchen, but when a holiday or special occasion comes along, it may very well grace my table, as well. Thanksgiving will see little pumpkins hollowed and carved and housing candles. Christmas finds me decorating the table with evergreen boughs. On the Fourth of July, my picnic table will have fresh flowers in red, white, and blue. But it’s my annual wreaths where my gardening hard work really gets to shine. My family members get great pleasure out of this tradition and can enjoy them for months. As an added bonus, my DIY wreath projects cost me little money and are made using items at hand for the most part. And yes, I still have that decades old hot glue gun as my trusty partner in crime.