There is nothing quite like going out in December and gathering some winter foliage to make a wreath for your front door. I do so a lot at this time of year as I make wreaths to sell through Riverford Farm Shop at Staverton, here in Devon. It really does make me feel very close to nature as I walk a hedgerow on a few friend’s farms looking for bits of black berried ivy, a few sprigs of bright red holly berries and some spindle berry if I am lucky. This mixed with some Christmas tree off-cuts, maybe a branch of yew or camellia in bud that you are trimming in your garden, or a few prunings from your apple tree covered in lichens, will make a pretty winter picture on your door.
Suggested foliage: Evergreens such as holly, ivy, pittisporum, yew, eucalyptus, camellia, eleagnus, bay, some lichen covered twigs, old man’s beard, Christmas tree off cuts all make great plants to use. You don’t need all of these, three to five different types of foliages will be enough and about six to eight sprigs of colourful berries.
What you need: String, secateurs, reel wire, wreath base, moss, and plenty of foliage and some berries for colour. You can buy wreath bases from a florist for a few pounds, or make use of an old wire coat hanger if you are feeling creative!
Step 1 –
Attaching moss to base: First attach the string to the base. Place a handful of moss onto the base and secure by winding the string around both the moss and the wire base. Continue to add more moss, winding the string around it until the whole base is covered. Tie off the string.
Step 2 –
Starting the wreath: Now attach the reel wire to the mossed up base – tie one end of the wire to the base wire using a knot, then leave the wire reel attached ready to wind around each bunch of foliage as you go.
Step 3 –
Make a small bunch of foliage and place on the mossy base and secure by winding the wire around the base a couple of times, pulling it fairly tight each time.Step 4 –
Make another bunch and place this on the stems of the last bunch and secure again by winding round the wire. Keep an eye on the shape and composition as you go along.
Step 5 –
Finishing the wreath: When you have covered the whole wreath, tuck the last bunch of foliage stalks right under the first bunch of foliage leaves to complete the circle seamlessly.
Step 6 –
Turn the wreath over and secure the wire onto the base and tie off. Make a loop with a piece of string (or wire) and attach it to the base of the wreath to act as a hanger.
Last step –
Attach to door: Use the hanger to attach the wreath easily to your front door.
Caring for your wreath: Ideally a wreath should be placed on the outside of a door. This chilly position will ensure the wreath looks good for a few weeks. Spraying it with a fine mister would also help it stay looking fresh.