Hills and Dales Estate’s wreath workshop was so popular this year that an afternoon session had to be added.
Both of Saturday’s workshops were filled with participants who were eager to get into the holiday spirit by creating their own wreaths.
The workshop was given by Hills and Dales volunteer Jerry Rigby and Horticulture Manager Jo Phillips. Executive Director Carleton Wood was also helped with the workshops ensuring that the participants all had enough material. Each person was given a plastic-covered circular straw form to start off with.
Rigby began each of the workshops by giving general instructions and by showing examples of the different types of materials that were available to be used in the construction of the wreaths. With the exception of a few of the special flowers, all of the materials had actually been harvested from the estate. Wheelbarrows were standing by, heaped with greenery from a number of different species.
Once the instructions were given and all initial questions were answered, participants began their selections and preparation of the materials that they needed for their projects. Everyone was absorbed in their own creations.
Julie Reyes, donning a black Christmas top and a fluffy red Santa hat seemed happy that she got to register for the workshop.
“I was the last one to be able to sign up and that was suppose to be for the second class, I was lucky. I also am going to tour the house, it was half price with my registration,” Reyes said.
Rigby is the owner of Tiger Rags in Auburn and often volunteers to run workshops at Hills and Dales. He told participants that when working on their wreaths, they needed to “layer the greenery much like the way shingles are layered on roofs.”
“This is a hobby for me. Some people play golf or tennis, but this is what I love to do,” Rigby said of his volunteering at Hills and Dales.
Christmas carols from Mrs. Callaway’s original collection played in the background as the participants constructed their wreaths bit by bit. Help was available throughout the entire session by Rigby, Phillips and Wood, whenever needed. Slowly the straw forms were transformed into beautiful seasonal creations that one could proudly say, “I made it myself.”
Hills and Dales offers a wide range of workshops throughout the year. Information concerning workshops and other events that take place at the estate may be found on their website at www.hillsanddales.org.