We have been getting in the festive spirit here at Blashford Lakes over the past few weeks, using the willow that Bob and the volunteers cut to make lots of wreaths which are now available for a small donation at the Welcome Hut as a self-guided activity.
On Monday we ran two wreath making sessions for home educating families, which were very well attended. We began by going on a foraging walk along the Dockens Water path with bags and secateurs in hand to see what we could find. The group returned with an abundance of holly, fir, ivy and other wonderful natural finds to use for decoration.
We gathered under the shelter behind the centre, with many piles of willow to choose from, and Tracy gave a demonstration on how to create a willow wreath. Firstly, select some willow that isn’t too thick or woody, as it needs to bend around into a P-shape to start. Wrap the willow around itself so it holds shape. Then, imagining your hoop as a clock, add new willow in at 12, 3, 6 etc…. and keep wrapping around and adding at roughly quarter intervals until you have a beautiful wreath. Try not to get too frustrated when it gets a kink in it, you can usually hide it with another piece of willow.
All of our families created wonderful wreaths, abundantly decorated with greenery, and splashes of colour from wool, material, and biodegradable-glittered pine cones. The only thing left to decide when each family gets home, is which of their children’s wreaths gets pride of place on the front door! I don’t think I would like to be in charge of that decision!