Holiday Wreath

Gardening For Your Front Door: Making Fresh Wreaths

Every year we like to hang a different wreath on our front door during the holidays. We’ve amassed a collection of wreaths to match the holiday season trends of sparkly red berries, Christmas ornaments, peacock feathers, and square-shaped boxwood but my favorites are most certainly natural, fresh wreaths.

A fresh wreath makes for an individual work of art that smells as good as it looks.  Florists and garden centers are wonderful places to find one to suit any style but if you are feeling adventurous, a homemade wreath made with garden clippings or purchased greens, can be most gratifying.

Given the current popularity of lateral space gardening, there are supplies available for all sorts of wreath plantings. Evergreen, succulent, moss, and flower wreaths are beautiful micro gardens that will suit most any style or climate.  Care will vary depending on what type of planting you decide on, but many will last for months, if not years, with a couple weekly squirts of a spray bottle.

Here’s how to make one:

Materials:

  • evergreen foliage
  • grapevine wreath
  • pruners
  • gloves
  • twine
  • berries, twigs, pinecones, ribbons (optional)
Directions:
Step 1: Gather a variety of foliage, berries, twigs, pinecones, ribbons, and anything else you want to add to your wreath.  Some of the evergreen cuttings that work very well are:  holly, cedar, contoneaster, yew, pine, pieris, boxwood, laurel, camellia, fir, cypress, and magnolia.  I like to contrast needles with broad leaves, and vary the color, but a wreath made of entirely one type of foliage can be incredibly dramatic.  Also, think about tucking in herbs like rosemary, sage, lavender into the foliage to add another delightful aroma.

Step 2:  Using a grapevine wreath as your base, start by choosing a firm branch with stem thick enough that it will not bend easily.  Add other cuttings of different foliage on top and gather the bunch in your hand.  Snip off any long stems.

Step 3: Using the twine, wrap around the bunch and the grapevine wreath together a few times until secured.  For the first bunch, tie a knot in the twine to hold it in place but do not cut the end of the twine.

Step 4: Gather a second bunch of foliage.  Lay this bunch overlapping the twine securing the first bunch to the wreath.  Wrap twine around the base of the new bunch a few times and set down.  Continue adding foliage to the wreath by overlapping the previous bunch and securing with twine until there are no more gaps to fill.

Step 5: Secure the final bunch by gently lift the foliage from the first bunch and tuck the stems under it.  Secure with twine and tie off the final bunch with a few knots.

Step 6: Now take a last look at the wreath.  You can tuck in a few more greens to even out the design or add a few embellishments such as pinecones (using florist wire to attach them), berries, ribbons, or even ornaments.

Step 7: hang and enjoy!
The final word on making a perfect wreath: just have fun with it.  Experimenting with different foliage will allow the wreath to become tradional or modern, contained or wild, themed or everyday.  I loved the look of the magnolia leaves with their velvety bronze undersides.  There wasn’t much else this wreath needed to make it perfectly stunning and completely different from my holiday wreath.

A special thanks to the wonderful neighbourhood gals who provided all the foliage, wine, and treats that go along with the annual wreath-making afternoon.



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About the Author : StephanieAn artistic gardener aiming to feed the body & soul through an urban potager garden & a community veggie plot in Vancouver.View all posts by Stephanie

  1. Kat
    KatDecember 11,09

    I have always wanted to do a magnolia wreath. Perhaps one of the trees at work will fall over in the wind today and branches will break off… perhaps. :)

  2. Stevie
    StevieDecember 11,09

    Kat, you should do it! I bet you would make an amazing wreath. I bet that magnolia needs a light pruning anyhow.

  3. Laura Livengood Schaub
    Laura Livengood SchaubDecember 11,09

    Stevie, these are beautiful! A few lifetimes ago I used to collect fresh greens from the woods around my house and make wreaths like these; maybe this year I’ll revive the art! I like the grapevine bases rather than the commercial metal ones, which need so many greens to look full. Thanks for sharing!

  4. lostlandscape (James)
    lostlandscape (James)December 12,09

    Nice wreaths! I really like the magnolia version, especially how you’ve kept it simple and showcased the natural beauty of the plant materials.

  5. Marghanita Hughes
    Marghanita HughesDecember 12,09

    Love the post, love your website!
    Making fresh wreaths -is a family tradition for us. Now that my children are older, they like to get involved. Here in the Okanagan we use the cuttings from our backyard-pine, fir and add some (Rowan) Mountain Ash berries (which actually dry out and look great). Back in Scotland it was mainly Holly wreaths that we made- not the friendliest foliage to use- very prickly-but I still like to add the odd piece of holly – a reminder of Christmas’s past.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Carol
    CarolDecember 30,09

    Beautiful! I love how you use all natural materials. Love the magnolia! Lovely blog! Carol

  7. Alexandra
    AlexandraJanuary 10,10

    Making fresh wreaths -is not a tradition in my country. I like your advice. Thank you/

  8. Stevie
    StevieJanuary 10,10

    You’re welcome Alexandra. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. sanochka
    sanochkaJanuary 4,11

    Magnolia Wreath is very beautiful.

  10. 2jacs
    2jacsDecember 3,11

    I love these! Gorgeous and you make it look so easy Stevie…lol! I am going to give it a go though…you’ve definitely inspired me! Thanks so much for sharing these beautiful fresh wreaths!

  11. Debbie refreshrestyle
    Debbie refreshrestyleDecember 4,11

    These are beautiful! I need to make one, thanks for the inspiration!
    Debbie

  12. Miss Charming
    Miss CharmingDecember 4,11

    I have some fresh greens that I was wondering what to do with. Thanks for the tutorial. I’ll be making a wreath for the front door now.

  13. Ricki Jill Treleaven
    Ricki Jill TreleavenDecember 4,11

    Your wreath is gorgeous. Is it easier using the twine than wire? I like the idea of twine better than wire. I am visiting from Debbie’s.

    xoxoxoxo,
    Ricki Jill

  14. Sherry
    SherryDecember 4,11

    Just gorgeous! Love live greenery! You have done a beautiful job here! Following you back!
    Sherry

  15. Stevie
    StevieDecember 4,11

    Hi Ricki Jill, I like twine, but wire would be fine. Use what you have on hand, that’s what I do. Thanks for stopping by!

  16. Stevie
    StevieDecember 4,11

    Shelley (2jacs), Debbie, Miss Charming, Sherry, thank you! I hope you make a beautiful wreath for your doors (or wherever you want to add some holiday cheer).

  17. michele@hellolovelyinc
    michele@hellolovelyincDecember 4,11

    mmmmmmmmm. i can smell the fresh evergreens!

    lovely post.

    stop by anytime!

    michele

  18. Lynn @thevintagenest
    Lynn @thevintagenestDecember 4,11

    What a fabulous way to spend an afternoon and have something beautiful to take home too. It’s gorgeous!

  19. Sharon
    SharonDecember 5,11

    That is a gorgeous wreath!

    Sharon @ mrshinesclass

  20. Honey
    HoneyDecember 5,11

    Your fresh wreathe is beautiful and I appreciate the tutorial! I’m delighted you linked to Potpourri Friday and hope you make it a weekly stop! Don’t forget this Friday is the big Christmas Tree party!

    I am happily following you too!

  21. Honey
    HoneyDecember 5,11

    Your pillows are gorgeous!

  22. maryhysong
    maryhysongDecember 5,11

    what a lovely holiday treat. I really like all the different types of foliage you used in the first one!

  23. Katie
    KatieDecember 5,11

    Love this idea! I would love for you to link up to my new party, Monday Myriad Linky Party
    Also, do you button swap?
    katieoallred@gmail.com

  24. Norma Chang
    Norma ChangDecember 6,11

    Love your post title “Gardening for Your Front Door …” I am not good at craft, but your instructions are clear and easy to follow, I may be able to create a wreath for my front door.

  25. Mid-Atlantic Martha
    Mid-Atlantic MarthaDecember 6,11

    Oh how beautiful these are. I do love a pretty fresh greenery wreath. Our door gets the afternoon sun though — kind of limits the life of this kind of wreath. Thanks for yout very kind visit to my table.

  26. Marina {YummyMummyKitchen.com}
    Marina {YummyMummyKitchen.com}December 6,11

    Hi! This is so beautiful. I would love to have it hanging on my door. Perhaps I will attempt making a wreath. Thanks for visiting YummyMummyKitchen.com
    I’m following your lovely blog now

  27. leduesorelle
    leduesorelleDecember 7,11

    What a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit, thanks for posting! And your door is the perfect shade of pink!

  28. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden
    Jennifer@threedogsinagardenDecember 7,11

    Your wreath project is simple and beautiful. I also like the candle project in an earlier post. I may just have to try that project out for myself.

  29. Lisa @ Life in Green
    Lisa @ Life in GreenDecember 7,11

    Love it! The different textures and shades of green are really great. I love a simple wreath….hope to get around to making one this season.

  30. Melanie
    MelanieDecember 7,11

    It’s fabulous Stevie . I wish I had time to make one this year. I never knew fresh wreaths lasted for months.

  31. Jo-Anna
    Jo-AnnaDecember 8,11

    Absolutely gorgeous! There’s nothing in the world like fresh wreaths! So stunning!
    Jo-Anna

  32. Shannon at madiganmade
    Shannon at madiganmadeDecember 8,11

    This is gorgeous! Love all the different greens you used. It has great texture!

  33. Marci
    MarciDecember 8,11

    I will make one. They are gorgeous.

  34. Natasha
    NatashaDecember 10,11

    your wreath is just gorgeous!!!

    Thanks for linking up to serenity Saturday. Hope you can join us again this week
    http://www.serenityyou.blogspot.com

    Natasha xx

  35. laura
    lauraDecember 10,11

    this is awesome! great photos too! newest follower!
    laura

  36. Vanessa
    VanessaDecember 10,11

    Beautiful wreaths and wonderful tutorial! Thank you so much for sharing it at the Doors and Porches party! :-)
    Vanessa

  37. Sherry
    SherryDecember 12,11

    Very pretty! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!
    Sherry

  38. Christmas Sony Camera Deals 2012
    Christmas Sony Camera Deals 2012November 30,12

    Its hard to search out educated individuals on this subject, but you sound like you recognize what youre speaking about! Thanks

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