Just as another gardening season has come to an end and left us a little lost, the time to make holiday wreaths and decorations is here. The cue for me to get into wreath-making mode, this season, was our visit to Colonial Williamsburg on the gorgeous Saturday following Thanksgiving Day: the weather couldn’t have been better, the company was great, and the atmosphere in the historic and shopping area was as festive and lively as it could be.
Wreath making, I think, is truly an art, and at the same time an enjoyment too. And while several vendors at the farmers market set up on the Saturday we were in Williamsburg were selling beautiful handcrafted wreaths, I resisted the temptation. Usually, I like to make at least one myself, for I find it very relaxing, although my homemade wreaths are nowhere near as pretty as the ones made by professionals.
One lesson I have learned over the years is to take help of some kind of resource. Workshops led by experts are being offered at various places now which are not only a learning experience, but fun as well; whereas one is not necessarily bound to any rules, but guidance makes it a pleasure making one’s own wreath.
Another great resource is books. One of my favorites on this subject is titled “Colonial Williamsburg Decorates for Christmas.” Published by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, this generously illustrated book gives step-by-step instructions on making Williamsburg-style wreaths and other outdoor and indoor decorations. Incidentally, the roadside shop on the historic Duke of Gloucester Street in Williamsburg that sells dried fruits, vegetables and other material as well as supplies to make such decorations is very well stocked at present.
Although I have not decided what kind of wreath to make this year, one thing is for sure that it will be made with all natural material, preferably from the yard, such as boxwood greenery, magnolia leaves, eucalyptus branches, nandina berries, and any dried seedpods or pine cones I can find. An exciting idea I got from the visit to Colonial Williamsburg is to incorporate dried red peppers, the long thin type, in holiday wreaths. Fortunately, before we got the first frost, I had already harvested quite a few ripened fruits from the hot pepper plant we had grown in summer. Hopefully, I am all set.