Few things conjure up a Christmas mood more than the heady, herby scent of winter foliage, and earlier this week I was lucky enough to spend an evening surrounded by it thanks to a wreath-making workshop run by my lovely friend Kirstie of Ruby & The Wolf.
It took place in the most festive of spaces – The Forge, which sits in a restored workshop in the heart of Bristol. The atmosphere was magical: candles flickering in front of exposed brick walls, the city lights sparkling through raindrops on the windows, and tea lights glowing from the steps of the cast-iron staircase.
The evening started with mince pies and steaming glasses of mulled wine, before we gathered around a long wooden table to learn how to make dramatic, assymetric wreaths bursting with foraged greenery. Kirstie showed us how to create a base from wire and moss, how to attach foliage and pine cones, and how to hang our wreaths using ribbon. Buckets brimming with fragrant pine, spruce, eucalyptus, juniper, wild thyme and more waited in the corner, and we had great fun selecting our materials and getting stuck in.
Kirstie advised us not to plan our design too much and to let our wreaths evolve as we went along. Everyone was soon absorbed in piles of foliage and berries, and I enjoyed seeing how each person came up with their own individual look – some wreaths wild and organic, others neater and more elegant. My own effort turned into a chunky affair with twigs and silvery leaves trailing from the sides, and I have to confess I’m rather proud of it!
Kirstie is planning more workshops next year, so keep an eye on her website if you’re interested in attending.
Photography by Abi Dare