I give up – I’ve been waiting for days to finish this little photo shoot of all the wreaths and garden decorations we have going on over here, but, weather. Then an entirely different photo shoot preempted (more on that later). Then New England Grows trade show (more coming on that too). And now, it is Friday and well, I am going with what I have. If the stars align again so that I am not finishing the rest in the dark or the rain or both, and I can shoot some more, then there will be a part two – but let’s not hold our breath – it is December in New England after all.
Festivities started with post-Thanksgiving walks (with pruners in one hand and the canvas log carrier in the other) to forage for materials from the local hedgerows. Winterberry, sumac, mosses, evergreens of all sorts, and a wide variety of unknown wild berries and pretty dried weeds made their way back to my work area. I am always amazed by the selection and especially love how some materials don’t seem like much in the wild, but once you gather a quantity they suddenly become substanital enough to really make something beautiful.
Additionally, I gathered pieces from my garden – grassheads, callicarpa berries (that is the purple), rose hips (both wild and cultivated) and garden greens (my favorite are juniper and spruce varieties). I find the collection all laid out to be so inspiring.
I start with the simplest, cheapest pre-made fresh wreaths that typically only have one type of evergreen in them. You can certainly start with a bare frame, but I find that this saves time and I can easily add and layer in other textures without having to worry about having enough to fill it out completely.
I make bundles of mixed materials, wrapping each with floral wire and then I attach them to the wreath tucking them in among the existing greens. This wreath is large (a 36″ frame – which means that the finished wreath is 4+ feet across) and it will hang above our garage door. Because of the size, larger bundles work well – anything too small will not be substantial enough to be seen from below.
*I’m not actually using the spray paint on this one….but if those hydrangea heads dry out….round two will certainly have a little golden luster.
I kept the palette simple on this – Holly, Boxwood, Blue Spruce (taken from the base of our christmas tree) and grasses from the garden. It leaves me to use so many of the more dainty materials I gathered on smaller wreaths.
I am a strident anti-bow person when it comes to holiday wreaths and decor in general. I keep thinking that someday I will discover a bow technique that will not be a complete pain-in-the-neck to make, and will complement rather than compete with the wild garden look that I prefer. So far, I haven’t found it, so I try to make foliage do the work of creating a focal point.
So here, it is 90% done (I always add a little more once I get it hung in its spot to repair any damaged pieces, and to balance and fill in gaps that inevitably show up as I heft it up the ladder and position it – I already see where it needs something over there on the right…).
I can’t wait to see it hung, all lit up and festively greeting us every time we come home. If I can get a lovely shot, I’ll try to update this post – but mostly likely you will find it on instagram first.