What better than to arrive at a beautifully adorned front door during the festive season? You may be worn out after work or shopping? Or a guest arriving at a seasonal party?
A beautiful wreath is, like a Christmas tree, a wonderful reminder of how magical Christmas can be.
My favourite types of wreaths are those that are handmade, using all-natural, all-local, native foliage, twigs, berries and seedheads. Even on the darkest days of the year, there are rich wreath pickings to be found in most gardens and if necessary, supplemented by a visit to a local market.
I recommend starting with a background of quintessentially Christmas, native evergreens including glossy, berried holly and ivy and also yew.
These plant cuttings should be tied on to a round framework (we use long, supple rose shoots, but coat hangers also work) with thin green wire (available from all hardware shops). Adorned with a red ribbon the wreath might be simple and lovely enough, but we would recommend adding other ingredients to make it more entrancing.
Depending on species availability you could include winter twigs, such as the red-stemmed Cornus sanguinea, attractive tree buds, rosehips, teasels and seedheads: old man’s beard, umbellifers and honesty are some of our seasonal favourites (see photo).
The wreath might also have added festive colour from silver or golden variegated holly, and fragrance from rosemary and thyme. I sometimes add fir cones, even nuts, interesting bark, attractive feathers, mosses and lichens.
Really anything that looks wonderful and truly seasonal at the time of picking and that will last well on a front door, or as a swag above a fireplace.
I generally don’t use ribbon, apart from perhaps a piece of vintage red velvet. I can hear the corks popping and the sweet smells of Christmas time… Happy times to you all!