For years, to save money, I would purchase a plain balsam wreath and add my own selection of cuttings from plants and trees to make it fuller and more decorative. Then I discovered URI’s Master Gardener poinsettia and wreath sale, an annual fund raiser. The focus was on the unusual, and spectacular, array of poinsettias. Colors ranged from a greenish-white to deepest red, and covered almost every possible shade of pink and peach in between. The highlight for me, however, were the wreaths and centerpieces made by the master gardeners—each different and reflecting the tastes, and whims, of the gardener creating it. The sale always began at 9 a.m. but I learned to get there no later than 8:45, when lines were already forming.
Alas, after seeing no notice of the sale this year, I finally called. Only to learn not enough poinsettias had been grown and there would be no sale.
While no master gardener, I bought my plain wreath and then scoured the woods for interesting embellishments. I cut long needled pine boughs, some intriguing small greens that pop up in the woods every winter (looking very much like a Dr. Seuss creation), sprigs of holly, and seed heads from my hyssop, black cohosh, and some pretty weeds. The result isn’t quite as polished, but pretty all the same.