With Valentine's Day not far away, I thought I'd show you how to make a simple willow heart that can be made from readily available materials.
Here I've used dogwood stems but you could also use willow or any other flexible woody stems. The length of the stems will determine the maximum size of the heart. If the stems are a little stiff, work your thumb along the whole length, bending gently to soften.
Tie the stems together at the thicker base then carefully bend over the thinner ends towards the base to create the heart shape. Be careful not to bend the stems which will spoil the shape.
Holding the ends with your thumb, adjust until both sides are approximately the same size, then secure with twine. Pull the loose ends down and secure again. Snip off straggly ends to neaten.
This heart shape looks very pretty on its own but you can ring the seasonal changes by adding a little posy. Here I've used different coloured Pyracantha berries along with a little box and rosemary foliage. The posy can be secured to the heart with more twine or pins.
Over time the heart stems will dry and change colour but can be used for years, simply changing the posy.