Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wildcrafting for Christmas, Part 1

One benefit of living in the country is the easy access to crafting and decorating materials. On Sunday I took a little walk out in the yard and in the woods surrounding my house to find the materials for a wreath and perhaps another arrangement or two.

I was looking specifically for running pine, also called creeping cedar, ground pine and a few other things, but my mother always called it running pine.
It grows on runner just under the surface of the soil so it's easy to pull up. It takes a good bit to make a wreath full enough, but usually there is plenty in any patch. I find it in cool damp, darker places in the woods where the soil is good and rich. This patch is just a little ways from my house, and I have been getting my running pine out of it for years.

I came back with the pine, some moss and a few other odds and ends and got to work. I use a wire coat hanger for the frame; these are getting harder and harder to find but they make an easy circle, and the top makes a great hanger for the finished wreath.

Making the wreath is simple: just wind the running pine around and around the coathanger until it's full enough to suit you. I add smaller pieces to fill in any thin areas.

The running pine will dry out and hold the shape perfectly, and it will stay green for a long time which makes it a nice choice for a wreath. It also does not shed needles, another plus!

Here's the finished wreath:

Then I added some red berries from my asparagus plants. They are full of berries this year, so I thought I'd make use of some of them (I planted some too--I've had a little luck with that in past years).

 I went back to the woods yesterday for some pine cones, and added those:

I may still add more to this wreath, as I find things in the woods that will add to its wild look. It will remain in place most of the winter, since it's not specifically a Christmas wreath.

More wildcrafting projects tomorrow!


warren said...

It's quite beautiful and so cool that you made it from your own place!

momalizzie said...

I think this is one of the prettiest homemade wreaths I've seen so far. Like "Warren" said, "how cool that you made it from your own place" and it has it's own charm! I could just imagine what Mom would have done with that wreath...birds added along with plenty of glitter and Christmas bulbs! It's absolutely beautiful just the way you did it, Susie!

Pat MacKenzie said...

I love how you 'shopped' in your back yard for the ingredients for your wreath. It's beautiful!

Country Whispers said...

Best way to craft...from your own backyard and for FREE.
I love how it turned out!

Granny Sue said...

Thanks, everyone! I'll post followup photos if I add more to it--a bird's nest would be neat, maybe some twigs, and bittersweet?

Jenny said...

I've never heard of running pine. Does it have a nice scent like other evergreens? Your wreath is beautiful by the way.

A tip for finding coat hangers - the dry cleaners in my area still use these metal ones. If you know someone who uses a dry cleaner often you could probably get them free or see if the dry cleaner has old ones to toss.

I used to gather greenery like this until my son developed allergies so bad he completely closes up just walking by a Christmas tree lot. So no more greenery inisde. This year though, I saw online a small branch planted in a canning jar with a lid - a small terrarium. I may do this so I can take a sniff when I really miss that Christmasy scent.

A Vintage Green said...

A wildcrafting project - what a great word. Love the wreath with its natural additions. A treat.

Granny Kate said...

So... the berries from the asparagus -- is this a viable way to plant asparagus? Our temp. home in Rainelle has asparagus -- would love to plant it on the home place. ?

Also, is groundpine also called lycopodium?

VERY lovely wreath -- we have a wealth of wire hangers if you need any.

lisa said...

What a beautiful wreath....I love things from nature and this is just beautiful...Lisa

Granny Sue said...

I had to google that, Kate! And yes, it looks like that is its Latin name.

Jenny, I can't detect any odor from it at all, so it might be a good choice for you. I have allergies too and had to use an artificial tree for a few years until I got it under control (turned out to be our little cocker spaniel house dog causing my problems). I like your idea of a terrarium though--that might work beautifully for you!

Angela said...

It's gorgeous Granny Sue! I'm going to have to see if I can find some of that running pine in my woods and make one with the kids. They would love it! I have a round wire wreath I bought for another craft that didn't work out if I can find it! lol I love the addition of the pine cones.

Nance said...

I did not know that Asparagus had red berries. I do not know the running Pine. I love the wreath . . . and I learn many things every day. I do so enjoy this web site. Thanks!

Jeanne said...

Gorgeous! I'm so happy to discover your blog. :-)

Granny Sue said...

Welcome, Jeanne! come back anytime :) New friends are a gift.

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