All the flowers from our garden that I dried this summer are not going into my wreaths. They look like, well, dead flowers. But the greens are all from our farm and look fine. I just wish I had more than one Noble Fir. Besides Noble Fir, I am using Douglas Fir, Giant Sequoia, Modoc Cypress and a pine that is not Japanese Black Pine but I thought it was. The cones are Sitka Spruce from an area on the coast where I survey Black Oystercatchers. Since I have no flowers or holly to complement the greenery, I am incorporating rose hips from neighbor Irv's wild roses. He has a variety that I don't have... bright red and huge.
But, alas, the hips started to go soft after I had them in wreaths so I had to pull some out. I planted those in the arboretum in hopes of getting them started here. My wild roses have little, rotting hips. I researched on the Web and learned that I could preserve rose hips for wreaths by coating them with clear furniture wax. I rummaged through the cupboard and found some... from who knows how long ago. (I can't remember the last time I waxed a floor.) Since the rose hips were already in wreaths, I could not dip them as recommended. I painted them instead. Here's hoping it works.
My workshop is my dad's stock trailer that he gave me years ago. Johnny created a work table and shelves and a way to hang the wreaths from the side. It's a wonderful place to work.
|Each type of green had to be cut from its branch in lengths and sizes appropriate for a wreath. That was done outside the workshop, then I brought the boxes with each type of green inside.|
|My non-conventional method of adding rose hips is to use an entire branch and wind it around the wreath ring, then add greens on top. At least, that's how I started. After awhile I started with a layer of sequoia, then the rose hips, then the rest.|
|This was before I wired cones into the wreaths.|
|The production line after twenty wreaths were done... and redone... and redone...|
|Johnny modeling a finished wreath. At least, finished for this day. I can't seem to stop messing with them.|
Family and friends who get Jim's wreaths from us each year will be a little surprised at the difference this year. My wreaths are, um, unique. I just hope those rose hips don't rot before January.