How to make very easy Winter Woodland decorations: Willow/ Dogwood circles
What you will need:
- Some lengths of willow, dogwood, or any thin branches that are pliable and will bend into a circle
- Some evergreen sprigs for decorating, such as leylandii, holly or any evergreen shrub in your garden
- Other items to decorate your circle could include strands of ivy, pine cones, alder cones, larch cones, dried hydrangea flowers, dry grasses, seed heads, silver or gold gift ribbon.
Find some dogwood or some willow on a public footpath, a garden, or park. Please don’t forget to get permission before you ‘trim’ anyone’s plants!!
Dogwood has red or yellow stems in winter (lovely white flowers in summer) and is often planted on verges, and around car parks etc.
Cut some lengths as long as possible, but anything over about 50 cm will do, and gently bend the lengths round into a circle. You can prepare the twigs by bending them all the way along their length bit by bit with your thumbs (see photograph), but if they are fresh wood that has just been cut, this probably isn’t necessary as they will be quite bendy already. Your aim is to bend them around into circles without breaking them.
When you have bent your twig into a circle of the size that you want (and this can be any size from about 8 cm across, to the size of a wreath), twist the excess length around the circle to secure it. You can either leave the circles as one twisted twig, or you can add more lengths of willow/dogwood.
If you add more, start by placing the fatter end of the twig into the circle at the opposite side to where you started the first one, so that you end up with a more even shape. The circle becomes thicker and you should be able to put a little pressure on it to bend it to an even shape if you want to.
When you are happy with your circles you can add some evergreen sprigs – experiment as you wish putting a sprig just one at one side, or adding them evenly around the circle. You can either poke the stems into the willow circle, tie them on with garden twine, or secure with florists wire / florists stub wires.
Add seed heads or winter berries and finish off your circle with some reused gift ribbon.
Remember to send some photos of your homemade decorations to us at Newground and we will upload as many as we can on our website!