Getting ready for Christmas - creating with natural materials

One of the lovely things about making with willow and other materials this time of the year  is that you can easily source materials that are grown locally in the hedgerow, your garden, friends and neighbours gardens etc,  with  the added bonus of a much reduced chance of causing  any problems for the local wildlife,  with the added bonus of eventually being able to add it to the to the compost or use its as starter fuel for  your fire rather than adding up on land fill. 

For those of you who prefer to spend time with others, and are not confident about sourcing your own materials,    I am offering several Christmas themes  activities with a few places still remaining , for more details check out my workshop pages.  and more details further down the page. All of the willow that I use is sustainably grown and harvested in the U.K I buy it  directly from the growers as well as growing some myself.

For those of you who prefer to create your own decorations using foraged materials

There all lots of materials that you can use some for  structure such as wild willow, dogwood, holly stems,  de thorned wild roses, as well as maluabl weaving materials such as clematis, wisteria , virginia creeper, long leaves such as iris etc It is very easy to get started however it is not just about heading out with a set of secateurs. If you are not sure what you are doing  please be cautions before you head out, some plants can at the very least cause a irritation and some much worse  so if your not sure  there are some great plant  identify apps for smart phones and  a trip to the library for a good book is always a good option.

Family and freinds gardens are great sources for materials  also social media sites often give you the option to add a shout  to ask if anyone is trimming back and would mind if you collected them.

Things to consider before foraging

The foragers code  applies here and relates to common land or private land that you have permission to access and  forage on , and apply to collection for personal consumption only  and similarily to foraging for food etc ,and  means that you should  only take what you are going to use without damaging the plant,

We often think about  private land  however it is also advisable to check if there are any local by laws that apply on council owned  land and other places such as land owned  by the National Trust etc . For more details and as a starting place on this subject   the Woodland Trust have a great guide which explores the legislation as set out under the  The Wildlife and  Countryside Act (1981). 


  • assorted-type-of-leaves-lying-on-white-panel-VDXtVYJVj7A
  • Willow Christmas 1

In addition to my own activities I am also  providing two workshops for other organisations which include a Christmas themed star evening with treats at the  Degaris Designs Studio Gallery  located in Botley on Saturday 28th November and a day workshop  creating small Christmas Decorations at Tudor House Museum and Gardens located in the old quarter of  Southampton on Saturday 2nd December