Years ago, in fact, twenty-two years to be exact, my youngest son and I cut thorny vines from our local woods to use in crafting wreaths. I was a stay-at-home Mom and often sold my pressed flower cards, and other natural woodland designs at craft shows. Since our Mid-Atlantic woods are over run with an invasive species of vine called Roundleaf Greenbriar, we made good use of the abundance and twisted them into wreaths. It is not an easy process, but since the materials were free, and ready-made wreaths expensive, it was worth the effort.
A good article about this thorny vine can be found here: Roundleaf Greenbriar
Most of the vines we used were between three to five feet long. This size is manageable to cut and carry home. We popped the long thorns off with our thumbs. (Yikes! I can’t believe we did this without gloves and have lived to tell the tale. If I make any in the future I will certainly wear gloves.) Once all the thorns were removed we twisted the vines into wreath shapes. They dry beautifully in the sun, rock-hard and quite durable, turning a lovely pale tan color.
I am trying to get rid of clutter around the house, and recently unearthed them again. I decided I must use them or throw them out. I found the perfect project! A unique trellis for my vining honeysuckle bush. I tamped three long bamboo stakes into the ground with a mallet, slipped the wreaths over the stakes, and pushed them down until the pressure held them in place. I am really happy with the way my tower turned out. I’m thinking of going back in the woods and gathering a few vines to make interesting tomato cages. Where are my gloves? 🙂