My ‘Tree in the Spring’ depicted in felt

My ‘Tree in the Spring’ depicted in felt

I have an ‘Amelanchier Canadensis’ in my garden.  Every March its red/brown branches are covered in a mass of white, star-shaped flowers that slowly give way to bronze coloured leaves that gradually turn spring green.

I would love to show you a photo of it in full flower in my garden, but I don’t have one yet!  So on 20th Feb I took this photo to show the red/brown branches with the promise of flowers next month.

Amelanchier Canadensis in bud
Amelanchier Canadensis in bud

So, how can I show this tree, in full flower, in felt for the First Quarter Challenge?

As usual, the thinking time of this project outweighed the doing time but I eventually settled on depicting part of a branch rather than the whole tree.

I planned to wet-felt a background, wet felt the flowers, then needle felt the whole thing together to (hopefully) achieve a 3D effect and I wanted the background to be a blurry representation of the garden behind the branch – as in the photo above.

So I put down three layers of bronze coloured Merino wool fibres (as a nod to the colour of the leaves to come) then topped them with a layer of ‘winter-into-spring garden colours’.  This is the dry layout.

dry wool fibres to form a background
Dry wool fibres to form a background

After felting, and while it was drying, I sent a photo to my daughter, Annie, and asked if I had it wrong – did it look like a doormat?

She makes me laugh a lot, just look at her reply …

joke made about layout
Joke made about layout

So here’s the dry background – the under layers of bronze came through much stronger than I thought they would, but I decided to go with it.

background when dry
Background when dry

I wet-felted the flowers – some buds, some semi-open and three flowers fully out.

flower shapes felted in white
Flower shapes felted in white

I then set to with the felting needle.  I formed the branches with red Merino wool fibres and attached the white flower shapes.  I used grey Merino wool fibres to detail the flowers and outline them, then green/red Merino wool fibres to make the bit where the branch joins the flower.

Needle felting the branches and flowers
Needle felting the branches and flowers


Adding more white blossom
Adding more white blossom

To finish I added three fully opened flowers.  I tried to needle-felt some yellow and green nepps into the centres but it was very tricky and difficult, so they are only loosely held in place but as this piece is just for me I think that’s ok.  The finished piece measures 46 x 46cm (18″x18″)

Amelanchier blossom depicted in felt
Amelanchier blossom depicted in felt

Have you had a go at this quarter’s challenge?  If you missed the announcement, please see here First Quarter Challenge

22 thoughts on “My ‘Tree in the Spring’ depicted in felt

  1. I love this Lyn, the colour of the base is just right and the flowers are portents of things to come. I was wondering how you managed the stamens – they look good too – neps just don’t want to stick do they?
    We’ve got one of these trees in our pocket handkerchief of a front garden, though we’re not going to get the usual explosion of blossom this year as the pruning was done a bit late. I’m looking forward to your summer and autumn pieces – do you get any fruit on your tree? We haven’t managed to get any for years now. It seems that it doesn’t like the east wind whistling between our house and the neighbour’s. At least that’s the conclusion we’ve come to regarding the “burnt” leaves and failure to fruit.

    1. Thank you Ann. Yes, we do still get berries on the tree and the birds love them.
      The nepps are very ‘furry’ and when I pushed them together in my fingers they stuck together. Trying to needle them felt them on was extremely difficult so I needle felted the ‘fur’ in between the nepps to the flower and they attached – but I wouldn’t want to expose them to a stiff breeze!
      It really is such a pretty tree in every season – have you thought of transplanting yours to a different location where it might be happier? We moved ours successfully.

    2. Unfortunately the tree is 10-15 years old – too big to move. We originall bought the

    3. As I was saying before I pressed the wrong button, we originally planted the tree because of the display it was supposed to produce in each season, plus the benefit of feeding the birds. I think it managed to set fruit in the first couple of years and then that was it.

  2. Thank you for sharing, it’s so pretty. I have the same tree in my garden too. The snowdrops are nearly over but I have the wonderful blossom to lok forward to.

    1. Thank you Leonor – I really had fun with this piece and I wouldn’t have made it had it not been for the challenges – so ‘thank you’ to Jan for the idea! 🙂

  3. Oh WOW Lyn! This is pure magic. It was like you waved your wand and the picture went TADAA.
    Annie is a howl. loved her comment!

  4. A lovely picture, Lyn. Using the grey was a nice idea, much softer than a dark outline. I had to go look them as they are “Canadensis”. I have heard of Service berries but I don’t know that I have eve seen one close up. There are so many trees covered in white flowers as I drive around in spring. I will be have to look closer at a few of them. I have started my first quarter challenge piece but it only has some sky at the moment.

    1. Thank you Ann. Winter is the only boring season with this tree. In the spring it gives white flowers (they’re a little big to be called blossom) then bronze leaves that gradually turn green, then purple/red berries, then the leaves turn red/bronze again before falling.
      Good luck with your challenge piece!

  5. Thank you Ann. Winter is the only boring season with this tree. In the spring it gives white flowers (they’re a little big to be called blossom) then bronze leaves that gradually turn green, then purple/red berries, then the leaves turn red/bronze again before falling.
    Good luck with your challenge piece!

  6. You’ve captured the flowers beautifully, Lyn. I particularly like the way you’ve artfully arranged the sprigs bottom left to top right and the background is perfect too. Will you frame it?

    1. Thank you Lindsay. I really enjoyed this project – needle felting is a bit like slow-stitching isn’t it? Yes I will frame it – shouldn’t be difficult to find a ready made square frame 🙂

  7. I love your tree branch and flowers Lyn. Such a beautiful tree, and you have captured it beautifully.

  8. Lyn you’ve done yourself proud with creating this piece of work & meeting the challenge. Love how you’ve enhanced the perspective with the background twigs & foreground open flowers.

    It certainly is a beautiful tree & I enjoy it in all seasons including winter….Spring provides the blossom, summer the amazing colour of leaves, autumn yet more colourful leaves plus the hilarious antics of the blackbirds trying to reach the berries (my not eating the berries is their gain!), then in winter I see the shapes of my cloud pruning!

    1. Thank you Antje. It seems the ‘Amelanchier Canadensis’ is a tree loved by all 🙂
      We’re having a cold snap presently so the tree hasn’t moved on since I took the photo on 20th Feb, but it’s not long now until we can enjoy its flowers.

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