As more of our lives become consumed by the sterile digital world, it’s a relief to get outdoors, spend some time in Nature, and get our hands into some physical work, hobby or craft.

In the run-up to Christmas, one good way of doing that is to turn a weekend walk into a treasure hunt for natural materials and then use them to create a hand-made door wreath or decorations for the home.

There’s been a strong revival of interest in crafts and home-made decorations in recent years, with wreath-making workshops becoming especially popular.

What could be more satisfying than to go out and gather the materials for your own home-made Christmas wreath – whether that’s on a woodland hunt for berries and evergreen stems, or simply picking from what’s growing in your own garden.

It’s an ideal winter weekend outing to do with the kids or grandchildren – and can also be turned into a fun educational exercise if you take along a ‘plant spotters’ handbook to identify the plants as you go.

It’s usually best to go for evergreens such as pine, conifers or laurel, simply because these will last longer – and they’re the most symbolic of the meaning of the Christmas wreath, which is of everlasting life.  

To make your wreath, start with a circular base from a florist or garden centre (or  make your own by tying bundles of damp moss to a wire frame), and then lay fan-shaped bundles of greenery around it, all flowing in the same direction, and attaching them  tightly with reel wire. 

Then work in the materials you’ve collected, such as berried twigs and different colours and types of foliage, to create texture and interest.  For the final decoration, use conifer cones, seedheads, rosehips and other berries.  

If you’re not averse to a bit of bling, finish off with a few artificial décor elements  such as baubles, ribbons, fake flowers and maybe a cute robin as a festive finishing touch.