Alternative Wire Heart Frame Now In Stock

We took delivery of our new heart frame stock this afternoon. The ‘dumpy’ heart shape of these new wire frames make it slightly easier to binding foliage to them. It will be interesting to hear from our customers who use them for fabric crafts as to what they think of them. All feedback very welcome.

They are made from a slightly thinner gauge of wire but are well made and offer a good saving over the standard ‘Oasis’ frames we have stocked for some time.

Visit www.WreathSupplies.co.uk to see the full range.

New wire heart frame for wreaths and crafts arrived
New heart frame now in stock

 

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Rosemary Wreath

Made for the local village show which was held yesterday, this very simple wreath caught quite a bit of attention; not necessarily because of the quality of its construction but more from the intense fragrance of rosemary that permeated the hall.

12 inch wreath made from willow and rosemary
Rosemary wreath

It was easily made; just a good pruning of our home grown rosemary plants with the cuttings bound with wreath binding wire to a 12″ rustic willow base.

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The pumpkin season begins

Usually we start the season with a giant pumpkin which needs a pallet under it to move it but this year we start with a tiny little pumpkin that barely fills a hand.

A small pumpkin ideal for autumnal arrangements
A small pumpkin ideal for autumnal arrangements

These small squashes are just the job for harvest festival arrangements and rustic autumnal displays.

A tiny pumpkin ideal for floristry
A tiny pumpkin ideal for floristry

These pumpkins are available now from www.BigPumpkins.co.uk

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Craft shapes for decorations and labels

For many years we have stocked chunky heart shapes routed from mdf which have been very popular with schools and youth groups as they provided a cheap base for an hour or so project; sanding, painting and decorating them as a personalised hanging decoration for gifts to family members.

Heart shaped shop price label
Hand made shop price label

They have also been popular with deli’s and farm shops who painted them with blackboard paint and used them for bespoke price labels. We have often been asked for a bigger range to fulfil both these functions and today we ‘went live’ with a few more designs on http://wreathsupplies.co.uk/shapes.html

mdf shapes for craft projects or shop price tags
Shapes cut from mdf for use as the basis of hanging decorations or high end shop price labels

All the above shapes are in now in stock and ready to post and at 50p or less they are great value.

Again in response to the feedback you have given, we have reduced the minimum quantities from 10 to just one piece if that is all that is required.

Visit http://wreathsupplies.co.uk/shapes.html for more details.

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Sunflower Down

Disaster! Came home to find the 2015 giant sunflower on its side.

It makes it a bit easier to measure though… so at 12’6″ it means there was a little bit of growth since the last measurement but I suspect that was mainly in the head opening up fully.

Flower head from 2015 giant sunflower
Flower head from 2015 giant sunflower

The seed head of the sunflower measures 25cm diameter (approx 10″). This will be dried and distributed to the village sunflower competition competitors next year.

This sunflower was grown from ‘MOH SF 2014’ seed available from Giant Vegetable Seed

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Growing SRC willow for firewood

For some years now we have been growing a variety of traditional basket making willow for use as wreath bases, twig wreaths and wreath decorations with any leftovers and offcuts being used as fuel for use in wood boilers. Nothing at all goes to waste.

We spotted a number of websites proclaiming hybrid willow and poplar to be a rapid source of wood fuel with some astounding claims on the potential harvest so we decided to conduct our own trial.

Willow SRC in third year of growth
Willow SRC in third year of growth

We to try a commercial hybrid willow which is planted as Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) for biomass production. It has taken about 6 years to get enough plants propagated to establish a meaningful crop on the different soil types around the place and whilst there will be a another couple of years needed to complete the planting plan, the initial plants are now in production phase. The first patch is now into its third year of growth so if it was to be used for biomass it would be harvested this coming winter.

SRC Willow 3rd year of growth
SRC Willow 3rd year of growth

The stems are long and straight with the average diameter being around 50mm at 1m height. If harvested this winter and left to season, the crop would already be ideal for use as wood boiler and wood fired pizza oven fuel but we intend to leave this until at least 6 years to see if the firewood logs claimed by the sellers of the hybrid plants are attained and produced in any quantity.

The photo below is of a row of established SRC willow which was harvested in February 2015. The 5 months of growth is now at a height of around 2.5 meters (8ft),

Row of 1 year old SRC willow
Row of 1 year old SRC willow

Our processed willow is sold through a variety of channels depending on what it is made into:

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Making Log Wreath Picks

Son and heir James has found a new skill to raise funds before returning to Manchester for the final year of his Masters degree…. bundling up small willow ‘logs’ to make what florists call “picks” which are used to decorate festive wreaths and garlands.

A length of green stubbing wire is wrapped around three suitably sized twigs or sticks (we use our home grown willow) to form the bundle which leaves the tail of the wire to be pushed through the wreath base and bent over at the back to hold it secure.

Wired bundles of twigs for Wreaths
Bundles of ‘log’ picks for wreaths and garlands

The picks can be used ‘as is’ or further decorated with bows made of ribbon or raffia to suit the colour scheme of the wreath (and hide the wire) in a similar way to how cinnamon is often used.

The fruits of James’ labours are available in packs of six, along with everything else you need to make your own wreath, from www.WreathSupplies.co.uk

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Leafing Tomato Plants

We usually only remove tomato leaves as they eventually turn yellow as the tomato plant slowly moves its efforts to supporting fruit higher up the plant (i.e. de-leafing the plant up to the truss that is producing ripe tomatoes). But, due to the very low light levels we have experienced this year we have got a bit ahead of ourselves and stripped back the leaves so that what light there is can see the fruit and ripen the tomatoes.

Leafing Tomatoes
Leafing tomatoes
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