At present I’m focusing on bare branches from deciduous trees which I’m making into round wreaths and tepees to dry and store until Christmas. Willow, silver birch and grape vine prunings are all good choices. Branches are supple when picked and provided you don’t pick stems that are too thick are easy to form into circles. Try to cut as many long stems as possible as these will tangle together more easily than short stems which can spring away from the wreath while you’re trying to bind them into a circle. It’s important to bend them to the shape you want as soon as possible after pruning as they will be brittle and easily snapped after they have dried. Sometimes I mix the types of stems and sometimes I create a wreath of just one kind. These shown in the photos are both and some are still a work in progress in my car-port.
It’s hugely different to forage for your own materials outdoors instead of scrutinizing shop aisles of identical, fake sprigs of materials meant to look real. However there is no reason not to add man-made decorations and ribbons to your designs later. It’s important to do your homework before heading out with your clippers. Make sure you harvest in areas that are ethical and safe to take from. Keep an eye open too to help clean up after storm damage too.
Creating your own home decorations from objects found in nature is enjoyable too - some of the appeal of gathering natural materials is the outdoor experience plus its low cost and an organic way to decorate. At this time of year – winter- there are fresh evergreen branches, berries, nuts, bare deciduous branches and twigs to create a pure style of expression right now.