by Mary Reid Barrow
Once upon a time, decking the halls with boughs of holly meant going to the woods, not to the local garden shop, to pick those holly branches and bring them home to create decorations.
The other day, a group of women stepped back a little in time when they joined a LRNow wreath making workshop at Pleasure House Point.
That day around the picnic tables under the Brock Centerl, they created 20 beautiful wreaths encircled with cedar, holly and pine and decorated with berries, dried grasses and other bits of natural materials.
Most of the wreaths were fashioned by folks who had never made a wreath before. They were handed a straw wreath frame, a box of wreath pins, ribbons and tons of greens, clipped not from the woods but definitely from various local backyards.
Instruction was minimal, mainly with tips on how to pin greens around and around the wreath and how to pin decorative materials to the wreath to finish it off.
That’s all it took for each person’s creativity to take over. The wreaths were all so different, yet they were all made of the exact same local greens.
And they were all beautiful. I’d put those wreaths up against any wreath you could buy anywhere.
Part of what made the wreath workshop and all that came out of it so nice was the pleasure everyone appeared to get out of making their own wreath and the camaraderie they felt from making it with each other.
The other part that made the wreaths wonderful was the magic of seeing a wreath made from materials just picked—fresh, aromatic, green and local.
Purchasing a ready-made wreath somewhere or pulling a plastic one out of the attic really can’t compare to one of these wreaths created by local hands, working with local materials grown in good old Virginia Beach soil!
The morning was a real reminder to me that decking the halls with boughs of holly the old fashioned way is truly something to sing about.
Do you have a favorite tree or plant with a story to tell? What relationships have you observed between plants and critters? Who eats whom? Who has babies where? Send an email to email@example.com