Sunday, 28 October 2012

Hydrangea wreaths

Lily in the hydrangeas
This week we have been in full production turning our now semi-dried hydrangea heads into wreaths.  Please do not be fooled by what appears to be a cute kitty picture - this cat is merely hiding the fact that she is about to pounce by sitting among the work in progress - the tail is swishing and she is not best pleased.

Hydrangea Wreaths
There is something about the combination of rustling hydrangea and long bits of twine that really brings the absolute worst out in this animal, beloved by the rest of our household - but I am ambivalent at the moment to say the least. It is only me that she randomly attacks when I am least expecting it, drawing blood.  She clearly has never heard about not biting the hand that feeds.

 But now the hydrangea wreaths have been made, both traditional and heart shapes, both available via the greengarland website.  The colours have been very variable again this year as you can see from these two hearts, recently finished from different varieties of hydrangea bush, both grown locally.  This first one is a really dark raspberry pink, the other is much more muted with mauves and blues.
Hydrangea heart wreath 

I like the latter, especially as the greengarland show door where most of the photos are taken is painted with Farrow and Ball French Grey Eggshell.

Hydrangea heart wreath
However, this pic is taken on the table outside the kitchen door where I was working  yesterday - and now it is raining so that will have to be a photo for another day.      

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Foraging for pine cones

This week has been busy, but in a good way, with all sorts of things that make life interesting.  Interviews with the glossy magazines that are going to write articles on us, gathering and drying lots of hydrangea heads, and, best of all, an excuse to go foraging for pine cones.

The Pine tree at the top of our Street

We are really pleased that the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project will be hosting our swag making workshop (Creating Christmas Garlands) on Saturday 15th December, and in preparation for that, I went to the big house at the top of our street where the mother of all pine trees grows, in the garden of Mandy and Andy. This tree is some 30 metres from here which is a real bonus,  I am so not sure of what type of pine tree it is but nevertheless it is a real whopper which was probably planted around about the time the house was built in the 1930s.

I had a lovely morning amongst the badger diggings and fox holes in their garden, grubbing around in the undergrowth with that wonderful October whiff of decay  about the place.
Pine Cones

The shape and size of this cone really lends itself to loooonggg swags, rather than wreaths, so I am very pleased to have found such a large cache so close to home.  They will be stored in greengrocers trays once they have dried (and shed all their seeds around my kitchen) ready for taking to the workshop on the 15th December at Bristol Zoo Gardens.  These garlands are great for decorating fireplaces and staircases, but they also make the most wonderful scarves, only for the brave, matched with tweed coats and lots of panache.  You should try it.
Garland ~(swag)

Booking for this course is through Mandy at the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project.  Its a great day.  Come join us.    

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The new kid on the block

Apple and Cinnamon Wreath

We have been busy this week fiddling around taking photos, making samples and doing interviews for Christmas articles for the glossies.  We are very nearly ready for the season and the Christmas 2012 on-shop is now ready with the on-line payment facility all tested and fit for purpose.
Apple & Cinnamon Wreath
Here is a sneak preview of one of our new products this year -  the Apple and Cinnamon Wreath which will be available for local delivery and mail order in three sizes, from the mini wreath - for tables and tiny cottage doors (hello Charlotte!) right up to extra large wreaths for statement pieces for large doors and those folk that want to shout their Christmas cheer.  Lovely, colourful and fragrant - with cones, cinnamon sticks, apple slices on a base of willow from my Mums garden and Welsh blue pine.

I know its only October but I have one already on my door.  

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Come and make swags with us at the Zoo.....

Christmas comes very early in our house.  We have  taking photos for the website, working on commissions for our retail partners and finalising the 2012 on-line Christmas shop

We are running our Swag making workshop again at Bristol Zoo Gardens on Saturday 15th December, where we will be hosted by the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project.  We are going to be spending the morning making fireplace and staircase swags and then going for a brisk walk on the Downs with Mandy Leivers the Education Officer to discover the folklore surrounding Christmas foliage.  We also eat quite a lot of cake and drink lots of tea, provided by the Project.

blue pine swag 
Blue pine swag 

There are a few places available on this course.  Last year it proved very popular and we had a lovely day making lovely fresh fragrant decorated swags on English handmade rope to take home to decorate our fireplaces and staircases.  Why not join us.  Booking is through Mandy Leivers at the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

greengarland goes north of the border

Apple & Cinnamon  Mini Wreath with Tartan Bow
We have been busy working with Country House Interiors in the market town of Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire collaborating on a collection of wreaths and swags to dress Mhairi McPhee's two lovely interior design shops there in Scotland.  Here is a sneak preview of two of the wreaths that we will be supplying Country House Interiors this season along with some lovely fireplace swags.

All these wreaths are handmade and beautifully fragrant, with scents of cinnamon, apple, juniper, pine and rosemary.

Apple & Cinnamon Wreath with Tartan Bow
These products are exclusive to Country House Interiors.  They will be stocking the full range of sizes from mini wreaths for tables - right through to our extra large statement wreaths to dress the grand doors of the good folk of Castle Douglas.  All with matching swags on handmade English rope.  Will be available from November 2012.