Bittersweet and Fall Wreaths
I find it heart-warming to see the seasonal changes my neighbors bring to their front door wreaths. Symbolic of the circle of life, wreaths speak of all of our connections with each other and the the cycles of nature.
Connecting to nature is not the least of the values of the wreath. Take bittersweet in the fall, for example. In early November as I drive I often see bittersweet cascading from trees along the roads and highways. I like to mark the spot and imagine going back with my clippers, to make a Thanksgiving wreath. And sometimes I do, because a bittersweet wreath is my favorite for fall. More, I love a 100 percent natural wreath.
Making your own wreaths is a really fun and straightforward project, and children enjoy it too. Try these easy directions:
Supplies for Bittersweet Wreaths
Heavy-gauge wire wreath armature
Green or brown florist’s wire
Determine the size of the branch bunches you’ll need (big wreaths look balanced with longer bunches, about 12 inches long; small wreaths may look best with shorter bunches, about 6 inches long).
Assemble about 8 to 15 branches in bunches; wire the bunches together at the cut ends with florist’s wire. Wire each bunch to the wreath’s armature, holding the cut ends to the armature and covering the cut ends of the previous bunch, so you have a continuous presentation of boughs. (A good way to gauge where to start adding the next bunch is to wire it about 1 inch past the ends of the previous cut ends.) Keep going until you have covered all of the stems and the armature. Trim and neaten the wreath, then add a ribbon as desired.
When the holidays are over, remove the branches and compost them, or throw them back into the woods!
By Annie B. Bond, the best-selling and award-winning author of five healthy/green living books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment, Clean & Green (1990), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010 and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World). She has authored literally thousands of articles and was named “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine (2009).Bittersweet and Fall Wreaths,