Wreath Season

I love the festive decorations that appear in December.  A pretty evergreen wreath on the front door is a classic welcome during the holiday season.  In preparation for our wreath classes last week, Gail and I experimented with making different types of wreaths.  Inspired by the color and form of the wand flower  (Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’) in the Idea Garden, Gail decided to take some of the cut plants from last season home to make a wreath.  Here it is in all its ethereal glory.

Gail's Gaura Wreath

It was my turn next to try out a new material for a wreath.  I cut old branches from the bush clover shrub (Lespedeza thunbergii ‘Samidare’) in the Pollinator Bed and combined them with some Eucalyptus branches purchased at a local retailer.  Since nothing is ever truly new, I feel I have to confess that I was seeking to emulate a wreath I had seen with a similar combination of dried branches and fresh greens.  Mine came out differently than the one I aspired to, but I’m happy that it did.  I merely wanted to feel the same way I felt looking at the original, I did not want to create a duplicate.  The Eucalyptus has the added bonus of drying quite nicely, holding both its form and color.

I also made an 8″ wreath for my back door with small pieces of balsam and wild rose hips (not pictured).  The door would have been overwhelmed by a larger wreath, but this small one is just right.  I feel a merry spirit when I get a whiff of the balsam as I enter the house.  I also created a front door wreath as I was on a spree of sorts.  Sometimes when you begin a project, it’s difficult to stop creating!

Gail’s wreath for the front door of the house here at Blithewold is perfectly marvelous.  It is a considerable wreath decorated with many beautiful cones and seed heads collected from the grounds.   It is proportionate to the scale of the house.  Perhaps too large for the average home owner, but just right here in its proper setting.

Blithewold Front Door Wreath

It is this sense of size and scale that we try to emphasize in our wreath class.  As Gail told the class last week, it is important to have the right size wreath frame.  If the greens extend to far outside the frame, they will flop and look messy.  If they don’t extend far enough, the frame will be visible and look unsightly.  The right size wreath frame for the intended site is key.  That being said, it was interesting and fun to see how each wreath came out different from the next one.  Everyone is given an assortment of greens (mainly cut from Blithewold’s grounds, but also some donated greens and some purchased).  With this exact same starting point, the differences in each creation were really fun to see.

We cannot help but leave our mark on what we create.  That’s my favorite part about creating a wreath from scratch.  I connect to the season in a hands-on way that I am also able to share with everyone who enters my home.

Do you create a wreath from fresh greens for the holidays?  Have you experimented with different materials to see what you can create?  Take some time to recharge your battery this busy holiday season and create something beautiful for yourself.

Happy decorating!