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Making a Christmas wreath

Posted: Saturday 22 December 2012
by Kate Bradbury

There is little point in making a Christmas wreath unless you have a red front door to hand it on. I settled for hanging it on a wall, but it doesn’t really say ‘Christmas’ in the way I had hoped.


Kate Bradbury's Christmas wreath

This week I learned that there is little point in making a Christmas wreath unless you have a bright red front door to hang it on. Or any front door at all, really (both entrances to my flat are PVC French doors, which make the positioning of a wreath virtually impossible). I realised this as I ventured into my garden and settled for hanging my creation on the wall, rather than risk someone stealing it from my front gate. It doesn’t really say ‘Christmas’ in the way I had hoped.

Having never made a wreath before, I wasn’t sure where to start. There are lots of ‘how to’ recipes online, some calling for flower foam and others suggesting the use of newspaper wrapped around a wire base as a starting point. As far as I could tell, this is to keep the plant stems moist and prolong the life of the wreath, as well as give it more of a bulky appearance. 

You can also buy, or make, beautiful willow wreath bases, which last for years and can simply be brought out in autumn and dressed accordingly. I aspire to having such a wreath - home-made of course - but for now I took the easy option of making a single frame using gardening wire. My wreath doesn’t need to last very long and I can live with it being a little on the thin side. 

I wanted a natural-looking wreath, so foraged for holly and ivy stems in the park. I chose both mature (non-prickly) and juvenile (prickly) holly, to reduce the pain factor of making the wreath, and took a very small number of holly and ivy berries, leaving plenty for the birds.

Using garden twine, I tied the mature holly stems to the wire frame and then added the ivy, juvenile holly and finally the stems of berries. I considered a bow, but decided against it in the end. I think the berries provide enough colour. I then attached some more wire to the frame and took it outside to adorn my wall.

Home-made wreath or not, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas break and a happy new gardening year.



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oldchippy 22/12/2012 at 11:48

Happy Christmas Kate,All the holly up the golf course has had the berries taken by the birds at the beginning of December so there's not much left ,the ivy has also gone over with not much to look at at all,may be next year will be more productive,And a Happy New year to you.Oldchippy.

flowering rose 23/12/2012 at 17:11

you could put wreath on the back door if you haven't a front door!

artjak 23/12/2012 at 18:27

A friend and I spent last Saturday making HUGE wreaths with Rosemary, Juniper, Eucalyptus, Leylandii, Ivy, a ribbon or two, pine cones, no berries but they looked great. I have got mine attached to the five bar gate with a bicycle lock. I don't think that you have to have berries for decorations to work; to me I am celebrating the turning of the year, the days get longer from now on so it is greenery that one wants to mark the long approach to spring.

oldchippy 31/12/2012 at 21:24

Happy New Year Kate Best Wishes Oldchippy.