Since starting She Grows Wild a little over a year ago, I have always had the intention to bring the conversations offline and connect in real life. The joy I feel when working with nature is something I wish to share with as many people as I can! So my friend Serena Lee (founder of Vegans Of London) and I decided to host a Christmas event at MOTHER in east London, to teach everyone how to make their own Christmas wreath out of sustainable materials.
Before the event, I spent a lot of time experimenting with a variety of materials. It was important to me that every part of the wreath would be biodegradable and sourced from local farms and wholesalers. That way after the festive period you can just place your wreath on top on the compost or under a shrub in your garden.
The evening started with a hot welcome drink to break the ice, followed by a simple introduction and what to expect over the next few hours. Beginning with the willow base, I demonstrated a simple weaving method which is essentially intertwining the long withies into a roughly circular shape, about the size of a dinner plate. Willow is a great material to use as it is really pliable and easy to manipulate. Having said that, you could use whatever is available to you such as grapevines or honeysuckle. To keep our wreath nice and moist we then added a generous amount of moss to the entire circumference of our base and used twine (instead of wire) to keep everything in place.
My absolute favourite part of the night was getting to watch everyone dress their wreath. I find it so fascinating how each individual is drawn to different foliage, colours and themes. I encouraged everyone to trust their instincts and enjoy the creative process. Don't think- just feel! This section in particular really requires everyone to be mindful and present. To take note of the nature of each leaf and stem. How does it fall? What textures can you see? What colours do you like together? This is where the magic took place.
We had a quick refuel at the halfway point thanks to a delicious jackfruit curry and caramel slice provided by MOTHER. Oh, and a very boozy glass of mulled wine! Nothing beats some good conversation over good food. Everyone then began to make the finishing touches to their wreath by adding natural decorations like cinnamon sticks, hessian ribbon and pinecones.
I was so pleased with how everything went, and it was incredibly fulfilling watching everyone walk out the door having learnt a new skill, and with a wreath, they were proud of. Ready to hang on the front door with pride, last throughout the festive season and at zero cost to the planet.