This simple wreath is not only beautiful, but beneficial to wild birds. You can gather colorful materials from nature to make this all-natural wreath using plants, berries and seed heads to dress up your front door or patio table, and attract and feed wild birds through the sparse months of late fall and winter.
Crafting a Wild Bird Feeder Wreath
There are many trees and plants that yield bird-edible berries and seed pods in late summer and early fall. Collect stems of berries or seed heads from flowering plants or trees that wild birds feed on from your garden, the countryside or nearby farm-stand. Select a combination of pesticide-free, dried botanicals to attract and feed a variety of wild bird species.
List of plants, trees and bushes that produce berries or seed pods that attract wild birds: sumac, millet, sorghum, globe amaranth, purple coneflower, sunflowers, yarrow and strawflowers, pyracantha, pokeweed, elderberry, dogwood, holly, Carolina buckthorn, and juniper sprigs with berries.
(To duplicate our wreath shown in the photograph above, gather: Sumac, Pokeweed and Carolina Buckthorn.)
Carry a shopping bag on your arm to keep your arms free when picking natural wreath materials from your garden or when wildcrafting. Using garden snippers or pocket knife cut stems several inches below the seed heads or berries to easily insert into wreath during assembly.
Remove and discard the leaves from each stem as you pick it. Place the bare stems containing berry clusters or seed heads into your bag.
Assembling the Wreath
Materials Needed: newspaper, grapevine wreath, garden snippers, scissors, twine, floral wire, stems of collected plant materials (as noted above).
Cover the surface of a table outdoors with newspapers or an old cloth to prevent berry stains. Prop the wreath up on your work table. Cut dried botanicals to desired length. First, insert the largest plant stems, such as sumac, into the front of the wreath. Continue inserting stems around the wreath, until it is filled. Insert smaller materials into the wreath to add variety and color. We placed several long stems of dried pokeweed berries around the wreath. Lastly, we added a cluster of Carolina buckthorn berries to the bottom of the wreath. Holly would be a good substitute. The fuller the arrangement, the more beautiful it becomes. If the wreath will be hung upright, wrap floral wire around the dried materials and the grapevine wreath to secure it together. To hang on a door, place a strand of twine through the upper backside of the grapevine and tie into a loop.
Hang your attractive wreath outside on the front door, on a garden gate, or exterior wall. To use as a patio table centerpiece, place a gourd, small pumpkin, lantern, or a pitcher filled with water for the birds, in the center. Once the temperature drops, if you haven’t already, position the wreath where you can comfortably sit indoors and enjoy watching the wild birds feed outside through a window or glass door.
About the Author:
Deborah Tukua is the editor of Journey to Natural Living, a freelance writer for the Farmers' Almanac and the author of Marketing Strategies for Chiropractic Success and the cookbook, Naturally Sweet Blender Treats.
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