Appassionata Flowers’ Ruth Monahan explains how to create a beautiful statement wreath…
Whether it’s to define your door as the most stylish on the street or you just love showing off your own taste, making your own wreath is definitely one of the most pleasant things to do to get the house ready for Christmas. I am a great believer in using elements from your garden and surrounds as key elements in your wreath, and there is nothing nicer than foraging your own foliage, cones, berries and more. Otherwise, your local florist or garden centre will have lots of goodies to choose from. Personally,
I love using lots of herbs and dried fruit and berries to add divine scent – a varied mix of foliage, especially fragrant berried eucalyptus, will also give you this hit.
The best time to put your wreath up is about two weeks before the big day.
Here’s a list of great ingredients to use:
• A straw wreath base or foliaged ring
• Noble pine, foliage, berried twigs
• Skimmia plant
• Cinnamon, cones, eucalyptus pods • Pepper berries
• Baby apples
• Dried oranges and apples
• Dried lavender, rosemary
• Dried hydrangea, thistle
• Gorgeous ribbon
A few tools to make the job much easier:
• A good florist scissors
• German pins (available in all florists) • Stub wires (available in all florists)
Before you start, cover your table in newspaper. Place a small jar beside you to place the short spare cuttings into.
1. Just like cooking, it’s a good idea to prep all the ingredients. Cut the foliage to size and wire all your fruit and berries.
2. Place the straw or foliaged wreath on the table. Turning the wreath clockwise, stick the pine and foliage into the base at a diagonal angle using the German pin. This can be pushed deep into the base. The most important thing with each step is that each element is firmly stuck so that nothing falls off as you run out the door in the morning.
3. Keep turning the wreath until you feel that it is full of all the mixed foliage you need. Mark where you would like to place your ribbon so that you have room to fix it on when you are finishing making your masterpiece.
4. I love to use skimmia for its vibrant colour. You can cut stems from a plant and again pin into the wreath base turning the wreath as you go.
5. Then add in the pepperberries, dried fruit and cones – a trick here is to use medium weight stub wires, twist them around the base of the fruit or cone to create a “stem” with the wire, which then can be stuck right into the wreath base.
6. Cinnamon can be bought in long form, cut into three lengths with a natty piece of twine or ribbon, wind stub wire and place where suits.
7. Choose ribbon to complement your door colour, double it over and wind it around the top of the wreath with enough length left that you can make a gorgeous bow. I usually use twine and wire to hardfasten my wreath to my doorknocker so no gusts of wind or little hands can pull my piece away from its home.
8. Spray your wreath every few days with water to keep the foliage and herbs fresh.
This article originally appeared in the December issue of IMAGE magazine.