Holding Autumn: Tomnah'a share their skills and flowers
Updated: Nov 1, 2020
Over the last few months, Blue Noun English language School have been delighted to help distribute Tomnah'a's naturally grown veg boxes to Crieff folks (who pick up from our language school) - and as a thank you we were invited for a seasonal wreath making workshop at the gorgeously rustic wedding 'Barn' at Comrie Croft.
As well as producing a whole lot of delicious veg for the region, Tomnah'a Market Garden grow organic flowers which supply Comrie Croft Farm Shop, local and national florists as well as regional weddings and funerals. Fresh flower season ends with the first frost (which came quite early this year). The remaining field of flowers are quickly picked and dried: to be used in the autumn wreaths that Tomnah'a sell from various locations*, from now until Christmas wreath season begins.
Slideshow of a selection of Tomnah'a's wreaths for sale
Tomnah'a's autumn wreaths are constructed with either an entwined ring of coloured willow sticks or thin birch branches - both also sourced from their farm. The workshop began with a demonstration of how to make both types of base, then we were invited to help ourselves to the generous selection of branches, preserved flowers and foliage to weave in (organic purists) or glue in to our design.
A short film (stop motion) showing the demo of how to construct the bases
Honesty (these silvery seed pods) are so called because they are translucent - you can count the number of seeds within them.
I say design as we were advised to plan a little in advance - but the experience was completely outside anything I've made before (plus, why change the habit of a life time?). A few sneaky glances at Lolie showed her racing away twisting different coloured willow sticks like a pro. I opted for birch. In fact Cristy had prepared a few birch bases already, and I had found them quite lovely as they were: I wasn't sure that after wrestling my branches into shape, I would want to add much at all.
Gardeners know the pleasure flowers can hold: I generally take a similar pleasure from walking (or photographing) nature, but I'm more often rattling though it than contemplating it closely.
Wreath making was like holding autumn in my hand. It was an honour to treasure those yellowed beech branches and shape them into something lasting. Searching the full tables to find the particular flowers, fir cones and leaves my wreath 'needed' was to grow in admiration for every splendid detail of nature.
Finally, I ended up adding a fair few bits and pieces: in particular fir cones, poppy heads, sycamore leaves, dried flowers and beautiful, silver honesty seed pods. I'm still very proud of my effort, but it is only special because of its spectacular contents: what you get with Tomnah'a wreaths are a much more artfully presented circle of wonder.
(that is difficult for even a native English speaker to say!)
Here's Lolie's description of our day:
"On Monday morning I woke up to a beautiful autumnal day. Autumn in Scotland is one of my favorite times of the year. The pallet of colours that are painted in the leaves across the horizon is Mother Nature’s way of welcoming in winter and saying adjure until the first colours of spring appear.
We took the bus from Crieff high street through to Comrie Croft for a morning of wreath making. When we entered the barn we were welcomed with the colours of summer captured in the dried flowers, lichen and willow sticks that we would be using to make our wreaths".
Lolie making her wreath
"After months of sheltering and lockdown it was just a joy to be able to share creative time and space again with people who shared a love for nature and enjoyed the simple pleasure of making something with your hands. For three hours the worries of the world were kept at bay and I realised how much I missed the peace and tranquility that comes with making something.
I now have a beautiful wreath hanging on my wall, made with the inspiration of friends and the colors of nature from Tomnah’s Market Garden. My wreath will always remind me of this wonderful autumnal day and that in worrisome times we can always create joy with nature and friendship as our inspiration".
During the workshop, Tomnah'a's Cristy and Judith were also working on producing wreaths to sell...
Including this beauty!
But they were on hand to offer advice at every stage
There were full tables of flowers to choose from
And what a beautiful venue!
At Blue Noun, we love a good craft workshop - and organise them for our visiting English learners as a fun way to engage and learn English. This one was a total hit! Thank you Tomnah'a!
Find out more about Tomnah'a Market Garden here
Looking to hire a venue? Find out about Comrie Croft's beautiful barn here.
* If you are a business in Perthshire and could stock Tomnah'as' wreaths - please contact them as they are looking for more sales venues.