In a market where the majority of companies are turning towards mass machine-produced wreaths to keep up with demand over the festive period, one company is determined to stand out from the crowd. The Natural Wreath Company employs traditional wreath-making methods to offer their customers a product that is all-natural and truly special.
North East-based owner Robert is aware of the environmental impact producing a large number of wreaths could have on local wildlife, so they have the foliage specially grown for them. ‘It simply wouldn’t be possible to forage the huge amounts of conifer and holly necessary for our wreaths,’ Robert tells us. ‘Additionally, the harsh winter conditions on minor roads and tracks in Northumberland make it impossible to access the places where the foliage grows naturally, too.’
Everything on their wreaths, except the wire it is built around, is 100 percent natural, meaning that once the festive season is over, you can disassemble your wreath and pop the whole lot in the garden waste bin. Robert and his team want to make their business completely eco-friendly, so they’re working on producing compostable or recyclable packaging, too.
In keeping with their ethos, their designs are inspired by the local area. While out and about, Robert collects ideas and inspiration from the nature that surrounds him, and then works on methods to incorporate those ideas into a wreath. ‘I designed the Woodland Wreath after a crisp morning walk through the forest on my doorstep,’ he tells us. This is one of their most popular wreaths, and features rich blue-green Scots Pine foliage laden with sprigs of miniature pinecones, fresh red holly berries, and enchanting Hedera flowers.
Capturing the scent as well as the sight of local Northumbrian woodland is a huge part of making the wreaths. Each one presents a veritable bouquet of scents, with elements like cinnamon sticks and dried citrus fruits blending together. They often use Nordman fir – the same as your Christmas tree – as a base, because it retains its lush, glossy finish and needles well. Natural winterberries are also a regular feature in the wreaths because of their vivid red colour and ability to hold their shape. And of course, pine cones are the star of the show – last year they dried and wired a whopping 36,000 cones!
Robert’s small team work themselves late into the night in the run-up to Christmas to fulfil orders, as materials need to be picked as near as possible to dispatch to ensure freshness. ‘It’s a manic couple of months, but we love what we do and are more than willing to pay the price to produce a wreath that will stand out in today’s mass-produced market,’ he explains.
If you fancy having a go at making your own wreath, Robert suggests a good wire or willow base, a decent pair of gloves, and a cup of tea.
Have A Go-Ho-Ho
If all the festive talk has inspired you to make your own wreath then why not head to a local wreath making class – there’ll be plenty of tea and, in some cases, prosecco
Newcastle’s Garden Studios are offering wreath-making masterclasses across November and December with professional florist Katie-Jane Hermes. Tickets cost £55 and this covers materials, decorations, and tuition, as well as hot drinks, fizz, and treats.
Flourish under the expert guidance of Wallington’s gardeners as they show you how to make beautiful festive wreaths using materials from their very own woods and gardens. Join them on the 1st or 2nd December from 10am–4pm – tickets cost £50 and include tea or coffee and lunch.
Relish the chance to attend a wreath-making masterclass with Victoria from Pins Petals & Powder, as she hosts her own prosecco-fuelled event at the Parish Church of Fenham on Saturday 15th December from 1.30pm–4.30pm. Victoria will be offering locally-sourced materials to create the perfect Christmas wreath.
This is a wreath-making class with a twist, as Newcastle-based Moth Studios offer the chance to learn the basics of butterfly pinning (all specimens are responsibly sourced) alongside wreaths too. All materials are hand-collected by Moth Studios for you to create an unusual and alternative festive wreath. This event costs £46 and runs from 6pm–8.30pm on 19th December.