Wreath Lecture

img_1609The garden’s fresh flowers are well and truly over, and last week’s offerings from the hedgerows are still decorating the flat; thanks to the fact that lichened sticks and dried seedheads have a rather longer shelf-life than flowers, my arrangements will probably last around the house until the first spring bulbs, with frequent changes of location to keep things looking fresh.

With Christmas approaching fast, it is also the season for thick wreaths of evergreens to hang by ribbons on front doors, and so perhaps Cathy of Rambling in the Garden will overlook the lack of a vase for this week’s In a Vase on Monday.


This wreath was made by me in my final class with Narcisuss Flower School: sixteen of us twisting, persuading and tying red whips of dogwood into tight circles, then wiring round and round with damp moss and boughs of spruce and fir before adding oranges, chillies and cinnamon tied with ribbons. Given the amount of mulled wine and cheese consumed by the class, it’s a wonder the wreaths looked as good as they did. Or perhaps the wine lubricated our imaginations and set our Christmas spirits free.

The wreath was extremely heavy, given the amount of wire used and the dampness of the moss and evergreens, so I laid it on hessian for a night or two until it had lost some moisture and the dogwood had settled into its shape.

I have seen so many beautiful wreaths on Instagram lately – some bushy and traditional, full of decorations and ribbons, others simple, graceful, slim, rustic. Wreath making courses are popping up all over Edinburgh and no doubt across the rest of the country this month, and I thoroughly recommend joining a class wherever you are, if you can, to learn the very enjoyable art of making these beautiful decorations.



29 thoughts on “Wreath Lecture

  1. I’m sorry I missed seeing and smelling this – it looks wonderfully fragrant. What is the round object with holes in?
    As for having no flowers in the garden – as a longer term project why not plant some winter-flowering shrubs? Jasmine, wintersweet, witch hazel and viburnum tinus come to mind. All except jasmine have scents which will fill the garden on a bright day, and are wonderful to bring indoors.

      1. Cathy is right – thanks Cathy! – it is Viburnum bodnantense which smells so particularly lovely, not V tinus, mine was a winter home for all the whitefly in the garden. V bodnantense is deciduous and flowers on bare twigs; V tinus is evergreen.

  2. Your wreath creation is just gorgeous, the blues and greens are a perfect compliment to each other. I’ve seen a lot of mentions of wreath making events here in the U.S. this year too, I like that it seems to be catching on.

      1. When I lived much further north I had a fish pond where I could grow Lotus (and pods) unfortunately, there was too much shade so no flowers or pods and then the Heron ate all the fish. I gave up on fishponds.

  3. I was thinking what a good idea it was to use cornus stems but then I see they are all hidden anyway so perhaps it isn’t? Don’t you just love the different shades of green in your wreath, and the smell must be lovely – no smell from my holly and ivy wreath! (Earth) Mother is right of course, in encouraging the planting of shrubs for winter interest, and once you realise their value you will want more. You could add cornus to the list for the stems and Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ and winter flowering honeysuckle – there will be no stopping you!

    1. Yes, sadly the dogwood stems are completely hidden in this wreath, although I know they are they, red and shiny beneath the evergreens. I think they were used due to their wonderful pliability rather than their colour, and in a simpler, less traditional wreath they could certainly be allowed to shine through.
      (Earth) Mother is always right…

      1. Yes, although perhaps it’s a shame that they are hidden when there are other pliable stems that might have been used – OK if you have lots of cornus to spare though!

  4. Really lovely! All those little pods and extras make it look quite special, and I love the fact that you have stuck to a green theme without too much additional colour. 🙂

  5. Definitely a trend we should encourage, wreaths look so welcoming. Yours will be a wonderful addition to your door. My parents are from Edinburgh and though I have almost always lived in England, I lived in Edinburgh briefly in such a flat with a back green. Simply used for drying and sitting though. It’s still my favourite city.

    1. Thank you for your comment Alison – wreaths are such a festive addition to a door! Edinburgh is the most wonderful city, and the shared back greens are one of the many things that help make the quality of life so good for all, even those who cannot afford a garden of their own.

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