Decorating with Christmas Wreaths for the Holiday Season
Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles. ~Author Unknown
The holiday season can be a hectic time of year. I can easily get swept away with all of the traditions of shopping, cooking, parties, events, traveling, friends, and family. Interspersed with periods of potential stress are those precious moments spent with my children during their absolutely favorite time of year. I find the contrast in our perspectives to be one of life’s ironies yet subtle inspiring lessons. Taking the time to join them in their beloved customs is my most cherished gift of the season, both as a giver and a receiver. Decorating, crafting, and cooking are what they look forward to with exuberance and contagious enthusiasm. Anything they can get their hands on, and have instant gratification bestowed to them is the ultimate in their eyes. Trimming the tree with ornaments brought out from my past along with playing albums…yes albums, (original Nat King Cole, Bing Cosby, and Judy Garland), still makes me cry, year after year.
My children and I share a love of making things. This year I thought I would introduce them to wreath making. Visions of us romping through the woods, beach and marsh, searching and collecting for various natural ornaments, warms my heart. Of course, I could be tempting fate,(insanity) by merely adding yet another “to do” on the already overachiever list. Creating artwork from our found treasures could truly delight them. Sharing our prized possessions with others will then be deeply gratifying and priceless.
This month, together, lets make wreaths. Let’s take the time from our overextended schedules to take a walk and gather some of natures gifts and create both a gift for ourselves and others.
There are endless possibilities to explore in wreath making, from simple elegance to quite elaborate. Fresh cut greenery is the most classic. A simple idea is to purchase a ready made wreath from your local nursery, tree farm or mail order, and then embellish with an assortment of cuttings to add depth and texture. If starting from scratch, a wire base is needed to attach the greens.
Ideas for Local Greenery
Boxwood: Love this in a wreath. I think more suitable for outside, can smell a little like cat urine.
Camellia: Not just the flowers are beautiful on this evergreen plant
Holly: There are many kinds of Holly and all would make fine additions
Juniper: Great for varied texture and you may get lucky and find some berries
Cedar: Excellent find at our marshes and the scent is wonderful
Magnolia: The quintessential Southern evergreen. Love this also in garlands. Spray paint gold or silver for pizazz.
Pittosporum: The variegated type is gorgeous!
Eucalyptus: I have seen a few of these in peoples yards.
Cypress: Another great texture plant
Ferns: Autumn fern, Holly fern, and Foxtail fern would be stunning.
Podocarpus: Good for that dark green color.
Palms: Yes, try these. They are very long lasting.
Rosemary: The first time I saw a wreath made out of rosemary I was in love. Made in small sizes, they make wonderful tree or package ornaments.
Citrus: Kumquats would be stellar especially if used as a centerpiece.
Wreaths are so classically pretty left alone to stand on their own merit, yet also quite fun and stylish to adorn. Pinecones, twigs, grass plumes, acorns, shells, and of course berries are all easily found locally. Ribbons and bows, treasured ornaments, bird nests and houses, picks and sprays, all make great personalized additions. Dried flowers and fruit add warmth to the greenery.
The Live Wreath:
This idea is so cool. It is on my bucket list of plant creations. First of all I am crazy over sedums which is the top plant choice for this idea. You will need either a special wire form made for live plants, or create one, with two forms wired together back to back. The idea is to make a cavity that soil, moss, and plants can grow and thrive. I have also seen small ornamental cabbages, dwarf mondo grass, creeping herbs such as thyme and more used in this fashion. This is the “greenest” of all wreaths.
Fresh flowers make especially appealing wreaths. The form needed here is an oasis form that you soak first before inserting the cut flowers. These make unique hostess gifts. Seasonal blooms can also be added to the greenery wreath. Insert flowers into a floral water tube and wire into the wreath. This would be lovely on your front door for a party.
Other Wreath Ideas:
I have loved moss since I was a child. Sheet moss or Reindeer moss I think would be sensational by themselves with just a simple bow. Grapevine wreaths are rustic and are very easy to weave sprays of foliage through their branches. Hey, let’s think out of the box and create one. I find squares and triangles very refreshing. Creativity and imagination can really soar here whatever you choose.
Enjoy Creating, Imagining, and Believing… Happy Holidays!