DOBSON — Folks who attend an upcoming wreath-making class here will come home with a new piece of greenery — yet have one fewer decoration to take down after the holidays.
“It’s a Christmas wreath that becomes a forever wreath,” said instructor Ellen Reynolds, of Beagle Ridge Herb Farm near Wytheville, Virginia.
“I’ve got one that’s over 26 years old now,” she said. “It dries to this beautiful, beautiful shade of brown. You can have it up year-round, and you get more bang for your buck, so to speak. It’s pretty, it’s something that you made that will last, and it’s natural.”
The workshop will be held on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 2:30 p.m. at the N.C. Cooperative Extension office in Dobson.
Participants will be guided in the art of making a wreath with live balsam fir greenery, ribbons and other dried plant materials, with attention spent on techniques needed to work with each.
“We’re going to teach them how to make bows, and how to work with dried materials that can be sometimes very brittle,” Reynolds said, promising a good outcome.
“It looks like a fancy decorator wreath when it’s done. Even if you’re a beginner, it’s very beautiful.”
The instructor has been teaching classes on wreath making and other craft-related skills for several years.
A former Winston-Salem resident, she became a Master Gardener through the Surry Center of the extension in 1992, and is now based 10 miles south of Wytheville.
She said, “We just celebrated our 15th year at the farm,” where in addition to growing herbs, a line of natural bath and body products is manufactured and sold along with other retail items.
The farm also functions as an outdoor classroom.
“Everything is education-based,” said Reynolds, adding that the team even teaches people how to make the products made and sold on the farm.
“None of this is rocket science, and none of it is that proprietary. There’s no reason to keep it a secret,” she said. “The more you can teach people, the more they can do themselves, the better.”
Reynolds will be teaching a wreath-making class in the midst of the farm’s annual Christmas Open House on Saturday.
That event will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the wreath-making class beginning at 1 p.m.
For those who want to learn the craft closer to home, registration is required and limited to the first 20 people for the Thursday class at the extension office. Those interested can reserve a spot by calling the Surry Center at 336-401-8025.
A $35 fee will cover all the supplies and instruction.
Joanna Radford, extension agent, said while most of the agency’s classes are held during the growing months, the wreath workshop might be of interest this time of year.
She noted that the local region is home to a lot of boxwood, particularly in Lowgap.
“That area historically has been the wreath-making and roping hub,” she said. “I thought the class kind of tied into our Surry County heritage.”
To register call 336-401-8025. For more information on Reynold’s farm, visit BeagleRidge.org.
Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.