IT WAS THE HASHTAG #madebymen that got me, when I saw it on Broken Arrow Nursery manager Andy Brand’s Facebook page, alongside a photo of a handmade holiday wreath. Andy and colleague Chris Koppel, the nursery’s sales manager, were having some fun, sharing their latest crafty creations on social media.
But wreathmaking is serious business at Broken Arrow, the Hamden, Connecticut, rare-plant nursery that had its roots as a Christmas tree farm—and still does a big holiday business in trees. In keeping with Broken Arrow’s take on plants in general, unusual is better. No plain old, plain old wreaths here.
I thought sharing some of Andy’s photos might provide all of us gardeners with inspiration to get out into the garden and collect some goodies, and perhaps embellish a basic evergreen wreath ourselves. (Plus, get details of their wreath-making workshops if you’re nearby.)
“It’s Broken Arrow’s 68th year for Christmas trees,” said Andy, when I reached him between chores like covering greenhouses and stashing nursery stock before winter settles in for good—oh, and between wreaths. “We’ve probably been doing the wreaths for 60 of those years.”
(I loved the photo above from Broken Arrow’s Facebook page of founder Dick Jaynes and his son Burton dragging holiday trees around the nursery.)
Whether #madebymen or by the women on the team, Broken Arrow wreaths can be purchased at the nursery, or better yet: Learn to make your own in a series of hands-on workshops there beginning next week. Two sessions on Monday, Dec. 1, two on the Dec 2, another on Dec. 4 and a holiday centerpiece event on Dec. 8. Information and reservations.
All the ingredients are included—and that means gleanings from many unexpected colorful and textural elements from the nursery inventory, such as Japanese umbrella pine and maroon doghobble (Leucothoe), top photo, or ‘Blue Ice’ cypress, middle photo. Just bring work gloves, and a pair of pruning shears—and, the listing on the Broken Arrow website says, imagination.