Creating your own Mistletoe Kissing Ball or Festive Wreath couldn’t be more satisfying or sociable than with the Great British Florist in Hereford.
Move over Kirsty Allsop, this is Heidi’s Crafty Christmas, or at least the beginnings of something green and festive.
One dark December evening seventeen ladies of all ages seated themselves in anticipation at the rustic workstations inside the studio that is The Great British Florist in Hereford’s town centre. We were here to learn how to make a ‘simple’ mistletoe kissing ball, to hang in our porches and welcome visitors with a seasonal kiss in time-honoured custom.
The Christmas music filtered through the speakers and we were greeted with mugs of steaming tea and coffee (mulled wine might cause some odd creations this early on!), and there was promise of cake and mince pies…already worth the trip!
We were swiftly shown how to reinforce the round florist oasis and make a hanging loop and then the fun bit really started. Supplied with a generous stems of eucalyptus, bay, laurel, holly and of course mistletoe, which we cut down to approximately five inches long, the idea was to poke the foliage into the oasis in a systematic and evenly balanced way.
It soon transpired that, sans ruler, none of us had any idea how long five inches was, and our balls were going to be rather more substantial than planned. This also meant that it would take somewhat more foliage to complete and became heavier to hold in your one hand, while frantically snipping and poking with the other. At this point some of us were ingeniously hanging them from doors, perching them on our empty mugs and maligning our lack of foresight.
Our bemused faces and studious rectifying did however make excellent material for talented local photographer Natalie Jolley who was recording the night for posterity, or possibly just her own amusement.
By this time we were also making friends with our fellow creatives, helping to source larger leaves to fill gaps and topping up on much needed tea. This was becoming warm work! Finally, a little reward, in the shape of cake, biscuits and mince pies, and the realisation that we’d spent nearly two hours just creating this ‘simple’ ornament.
Finishing our masterpieces with a flourish of festive red ribbon, we held them aloft in admiration. They weren’t half bad, certainly good enough to hang in public and admit to the work.
Bestowing eachother with mutual admiration, we left beaming with our creations in tow, musing on where we would hang them – somewhere cool where they could be sprayed with water and not ruin a floor.
Perfect to go alone or with a great group of friends this was a relaxing, sociable and even productive occasion; it certainly got the creative juices flowing. As we chattered about our ambitions to expand into more elaborate displays, something tells me that just creating a second ball to balance the other side of my porch may be enough to manage this year!
For more fun floristry workshops running all year look here at the Great British Florist courses.