How to Make a Green Christmas Wreath
I love wreaths. When we got married this summer a simple eucalyptus wreath hung on the door as the only decoration for the 16th century church on the island out at sea where we got married. There is something so pleasing about the flow of a wreath – all the leaves and flowers flowing in a round. Christmas decoration in our house is centred around flowers and foliage.
This year I asked for a bit of help from my friend Alex Whitmore – she’s a florist 2 days a week and a hot shot lawyer the other days, she’s really quite something. Alex filled our wedding with the most out of this world flowers and built an arch for us to get married under. This time things were more low key. We spent the day at my kitchen table making wreaths for our front doors (and my Mum’s door) and a very beautiful branch we will be hanging above the fire (more of that soon).
Alex showed me a clever way of making a wreath using little bunches which made things look much more pro and a lot easier. The house smelt of Christmas for days afterwards. This wreath is made from the things I love – foliage, subtle berries and different tones of greens but if you like you could use brighter colours, red berries, dried things like nigella flowers or cinnamon sticks, but I prefer to keep it tonal and simple. Massive thanks to you Alex. I loved our very welcome and calm morning of foliage and tea.
WHAT YOU NEED:
Thin floristry wire, green is best
Good sturdy scissors or secateurs
A round grapevine wreath or wire wreath frame – I used this one or you can try making one yourself out of bendy baby birch twigs and securing with wire if you’re feeling ambitious
Ribbon for hanging – I used this lovely velvet one from one of my favourite shops VV Rouleaux
Plenty of moss – you can buy this from garden centres or good florists
Lots of foliage – you will need more then you think as you will have to strip the stems and you’ll only want to use the nice bushy bits. You can buy this at a florist or forage for it in your garden or in local parks. Be sure to ask first if its not yours and only take a little from each tree. We used juniper branches, lot of different types of eucalyptus, olive branches, mimosa and privet
1 GET EVERYTHING TOGETHER
Get all your equipment together and make sure you have enough space to work in. You will inevitably make a mess, so set up somewhere you can sweep up easily.
2 ATTACH THE MOSS
Tear your moss up into pieces small enough to wrap around the frame. Begin attaching to the frame by wrapping the wire around it continuously. Make sure it’s sturdy as it is the foundation of the wreath.
You don’t want the wreath to be entirely flat so use a good amount of moss so you get some shape from the start.
3 MAKE BUNCHES OF FOLIAGE
Snip off little branches from your foliage. Whether you keep like foliage with like or not, is up to you, but if you’re going for a tidier looking wreath then try and make the snippets a similar size. For a more organic look, use different lengths of foliage in each small bunch.
Use short pieces of wire to attach about 4-5 little branches together. You may need to strip a few leaves from the lower parts of stems to make it easier to bind them together.
4 ATTACH THE BUNCHES
One by one, attach the little bunches to the frame, tucking the stem ends of them into the moss. Use the wire to secure the bundles firmly. You can keep the spool of wire continuously attached for ease.
5 KEEP ADDING AND TURNING
Keep adding the bunches to the moss in the same direction, turning the wreath as you go. Each bunch should overlap with the previous one so no ends are showing.
Have a look at your wreath and tweak if needed – snipping bits off or adding bits in if any moss is showing.
Use some beautiful ribbon to hang on your door.
TIPS FROM ALEX
– Moss is the foundation of this wreath. It gives depth, and also means your foliage lasts longer if you spray it every couple of days to keep it damp
– Try to get as much texture and interest into the wreath as possible by different leaf shapes, tones and sizes
– If you want to make your wreath look symmetrical, try to keep your bunches similarly sized
– For a bit of bling, spray some leaves gold before you add them
– If you wanted to make a more architectural wreath, you can leave some of it exposed or use greenery/colours so you almost have an ombre look
Images: Anna Jones
Flowers: the wonderful Alex Whitmore