Make creating the annual Christmas wreath a family tradition! With such great foliage right on our doorstep its ideal for an authentic Christmas wreath. So grab a bag or basket and some sharp secateurs and go foraging. Remember to cut the stems from the base of the plant to get efficient length and so the plant can grow from the base for its next growing season.
Think about texture and colour, collect berries, pine cones and seedlings. Some great foliage for the winter season include, Conifers, Ivy (hedera), Eucalyptus, Pinus, Spruce, Noblis, Cedar, Birch,
and Dogwood. Moss will be needed if using a wire frame but can be included into your designs. Some amazing berry foliage include Viburnum, Skimmia, English holly (Ilex aquifolium) and Aucuba japonica to name a few. Please be careful when handling berries and wash hands thoroughly. Stay away from fleshy foliage such as sedum, as this will wilt, flowers will also not keep their shape for long unless using the wet foam method. Gather more foliage than you think you need. More is always better.
All you need is;
A wreath frame – this could be a straw ring, wire frame, wet foam ring, willow ring (or if your feeling adventurous a homemade willow frame)
Binding floristry wire
A selection of freshly cut foliage
Decorative additions – such as ribbon or baubles are optional.
With a willow or straw ring the method is reasonable easy. Cut bunches of foliage to preferred length and bundle with binding wire. With the bunches, attach them to the straw or willow frame by placing upon the frame and binding around. Continue this method all the way around the frame, with foliage pointing in the same direction. (leave delicate foliage, berries, pine cones and saplings till later) Remember to pull the wire reasonably tight when binding. For extra foliage, berries on stems, pine cones and saplings, these need to be wired separately to extend the length. This can then be threaded into the wreath and tied at the back. Think about placement, whether its spaced out or gather at the bottom or top. These will be your focal points. For adding baubles the same method will be used threading through the hole of the bauble. Tie ribbon in a bow and wire can be attached with the same method to add within the foliage.
For a wire frame there is slightly more preparation at the start. Moss is needed to pack out the wire frame to create a base. Moss will be attached by binding around the wire frame. Then the above method can be used.
The wet foam method uses green wet foam which will need soaking before use. Submerge into a bucket of water (plant food can be added to the water to extend the life of the wreath) or pour water over the foam slowly until the foam is heavy. The method is different when using foam. Foliage needs to be cut at an angle and placed in the foam. Begin by adding foliage around the edges creating a border then working foliage into the centre. Base the foam first with foliage before adding your focal points of interest. Additional decorative items can be added by wiring up individually and inserting into the foam.
Finish your wreath with a large bow and slack for tying to the front door this Christmas!