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Journal

Making a dogwood wreath

I have made this dogwood wreath so many times over the years. I have hosted workshops making them at Country Living Fairs and local events and even with the Brownies - and they never get tired.

Every one is slightly different, every one a response to the maker and the materials. They will last for years and years and you can add in decorations and ring the changes.

You need

  • Heart shaped copper wreath - 12" size (available from florist supplies shops). Studio Members can buy the frames from us - please email.
  • Dogwood prunings (approximately 18 pieces - though it obviously depends on how full they are.)
  • 18 pieces of stem wire or flexible wire cut into 20 cm lengths
  • Secateurs

 

How to make

Pick the 6 sturdiest prunings - they should have straight flexible stems and then some brush bits at the top.

You are going to wire these onto the heart shape to form the base for the rest of your stems.

Jam 3 stems into the square of copper at the base of the frame them wire it in 2 places so that it follows the curve of the frame.

Jam another 3 stems going the other way and wire in place to form a heart shape. This is the most difficult part of the whole thing so take your time. Don't worry if the wire is showing at this point or if it isn't exactly heart shaped.

Wire in all the twigs so that you have a heart shaped dogwood framework on top of the copper frame. It doesn't need to cover it at this point.

wiring dogwood heart

making the framework dogwood wreath

Now use the rest of your dogwood to cover the frame, jamming the end of the stem in to secure and then wrapping round and round, tucking ends into the existing sticks.

adding in more twigs

weaving in dogwood sticks

Continue until you are happy with the fullness and shape of your heart - it can be as messy or neat as you like.

finished frame

Cut the stem ends neatly

cut stem ends

Add a hanging loop to the back by threading wire through the copper frame and twisting together to form a circle.

You can make the frame into more of a heart shape by forcing the centre of the top part down a bit - the copper will bend.

You can also add on decorations - ivy and berries or dried flowers - anything with a stalk will simply poke through the layers of dogwood and it will be held securely - something like ivy can be attached by making little hairpins out of wire and securing it with that.

dogwood heart with hydrangea

dogwood heart with ivy

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My Friday letter today is about trying to balance gardening and guardianship here - and about why I registered the land here as an ARK (Acts of Restorative Kindness) as a formal commitment.⁠⁠
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It is also about why I need the kitchen garden and community garden as an outlet for my obsessive growing of seedlings . . . .⁠⁠
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Smoking chimney and fireweed with a halo of haws - November studio.⁠⁠
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#wearetheark
#momentslikethese
#the_gentle_manifesto
#daysofsmallthings
#natureandnourish
#aseasonalway
#daysofsimpleandslow
#ournaturedays
#aquietmoment
#pocketsofslow
#thesweetlifeunscripted
#folkandstory
Teasel is the boss of the house. ⁠⁠
⁠⁠
I said that I was looking for a scruffy, badly behaved, short legged dog, and that is exactly what I found.⁠⁠
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He stamps in temper when I won't let him do whatever it is he has been stopped from doing.  He runs around manically, he torments poor patient Dixie until she plays and then, exhausted, he crawls up onto my knee for a cuddle and that wonderful soft puppy shudder of contentment.⁠⁠
⁠⁠
Off to the vet for jags today.

#yorkshireterriersofinstagram #yorkielove #yorkshireterrier #yorkshireterrierpuppy #takeyourdogtowork #studiodog #puppylove
It has been weirdly warm.⁠⁠
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Poppies and cornflowers are trying to bloom raggedly in the meadow and outside our bedroom window this rose has come to life again with heavy perfumed flowers.⁠⁠
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They seem smaller and deeper in colour than they were in June.⁠⁠
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Is anyone else finding unseasonal blooms at the moment?

#wildforflowers #awhisperedbeauty #cornersofmyworld #lifelivedbeautifully #raw_flowers #livesimple #simpleandstill #shared-joy #atmine #myeverydaymagic #slowfloralstyle #seekmoments #cornersofmygarden
One of things I chatted with @eva_nemeth about in Yorkshire a few weeks ago was mess and light.⁠⁠
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I said that I wanted to be able to show beauty without worrying about tidying up around it. Life is messy, time is short . . . .⁠⁠
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Eva said that all I needed to do was look for the light and the mess would be transformed.⁠⁠
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She was right, this was the kitchen a couple of mornings ago, coffee on the stove, light hitting the washing up and defrosting milk.⁠⁠
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Everyday beauty.

#howihueit #simpleandstill #capturequiet #beautyyouseek #calm_collected #aseasonalway #aseasonalshift #mystoryoflight #cornersofmyworld #slowlived #slowandsimpledays #quietchaotics #ihaveathingwithwindows #ofsimplethings #beautyinsimplicity #mystoryofautumn #slowfloralstyle #everydaybeauty #nestandflourish #livethelittlethings #thehappynow  #cornersofmyhome #aseasonalway #slowlivingforlife
Next year the vegetable garden will be free of hens - I'm determined of that because it is a complete waste of time to grow things when they break in and eat it all - but I think that this winter I shall let them wander.  I'm reframing it as slug patrol and fertilising.⁠⁠
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Though I shall harvest all the remaining sprouts first as, from the shredded state of some plants, they seem to be a favourite.

#myquietbeauty_autumn #upandautumn #simpleandseasonal #natureandnourish #shiftingseasons #quietinthewild #simplejoys #aseasonalway #snapdragonlife #calmversation #rurallifestrong #simplethings #growyourown #growyourownflowers #aseasonalshift #bantamsofinstagram #vegetablegarden
A couple of weeks ago I tried, and failed, to convince a friend that dahlias are often at their best when part frosted and on the way out.⁠⁠
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They stand bedraggled and desaturated, capturing perfectly that slightly melancholy mood of autumn.⁠⁠
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This year I have seen people who have previously loved autumn best, talking about how difficult they are finding it this year. ⁠⁠
⁠⁠
I think it may be that we are not in the mood for more melancholy. It is difficult to embrace the cosy slide into darkness when, for many, there hasn't been much light.

I know that I’ve been choosing more upbeat music to keep me company in the Studio. Steering away from the heartbreak and sadness. Seeking the light. 

#myquietbeauty_autumn #upandautumn #simpleandseasonal #natureandnourish #shiftingseasons #quietinthewild #simplejoys #aseasonalway #snapdragonlife #calmversation #rurallifestrong #simplethings  #aseasonalshift #flowersandotherstories #scotlandsgardens #simplethingsmadebeautiful #daysofsmallthings
Planting tulips in the vegetable garden - 12 of each in close rows so that I don’t feel guilty about picking them - and discovering that Yorkshire terriers come pre-programmed to dig. 

#yorkshireterrier #yorkie #yorkshireterriersofinstagram #yorkshireterrierpuppy
The hornbeam arch that leads through to the vegetable garden is always a thing of two halves. 

At this time of year half is bright autumn leaves, half bare imploring branches. 

Spent vegetables and fallen leaves, hens and hazel supports. 

November garden. It’s where you will find me today. 

#slowlived #hashtagauthentic #aseasonalway #gatherandcurate #mygarden #kitchengarden #distractionsandinspirations #stillswithstories #calmversation #novembergarden #cherishandrelish #aquietstyle #growyourown #searchwondercollect #alliseeispretty #seekinspirecreate #ofsimplethings #natureandnourish #myalmanacmoment
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About Snapdragon Life

At Snapdragon Life I gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

 

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