Feather your nest with a Meadow Ball

“Let’s make meadow balls!” Crystal said. “Sure, sounds fun! Umm what the heck are meadow balls Crystal??” I said. First stop, Google. Of course! Google knows everything. Apparently Google doesn’t know about meadow balls… Crystal’s idea had come from a British magazine that she had picked up earlier in the year while on vacation. Upon seeing the pictures, I’ll admit I was skeptical. BUT they are European so they have to be cool on some level. So after quick study, off I went to the field and you guessed it, the ditch. I cut a large bucketful of material and hauled it over to Crys’s house to see what we could assemble. To my pleasant surprise the result was simple, beautiful and unique. Our end result was more of a nest but Crystal was on the money all along. Here’s what and how we created our wildflower wonders.

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1. With a sharp pair of pruners or scissors head to fields (or edges if
they are farmed) and ditches to collect Vetch (purple flower) and other matting vine-y like weeds.  Cut big bunches of it close to the ground. This will be your base material so take lots.

2. Walk around and notice what’s in bloom. There are an abundance of beautiful wildflowers in Nova Scotia and our backyards. Many we throw into the compost regularly. Here’s your chance to embrace the weeds!

3. When I was out, Queen Ann’s lace was everywhere. Lots of Golden Rod, Purple Clover and grasses. Cut the flowers with a long stem so you have something to work with.

4. Head back in with your haul and lay everything out. Seeing is half knowing. Take the “base” materials and gather them together at one end. Like you would pony tail.

5. With the 3/4 of the base materials gathered in one hand at the end, with your other hand brush, smooth the out. So they aren’t in a big ball, more of a long strand. Think of a horse’s tail!

6. Then start to loosely twist the “tail” together. This will make it more of a garland and you can then begin to circle it into a nest shape. Tuck the ends in.

7. Once into the shape, pull the garland apart slightly, fluffing it up to give more volume.

8. With the remaining base material gather and layer the inside of the nest.

9. Then take the wildflowers and weave them, randomly into the outside of the nest. Break the stems part way so they will fit in and go around the curve of the nest.

Place it in a bird bath or as a centre piece on an outdoor table. Be creative! When you’re finished those pesky weeds that often go unnoticed, will give you a new appreciation of their simple beauty that naturally grows all around us.

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