How many lists have you got lying around the house/in your bag/on your phone at the moment? One for the presents; one for the food; another one because you’ve run out of space on the first ones? Not to mention what’s going on in the diary…
There’s so much going on in the run up to Christmas alongside keeping everything else ticking over. So in between the endless lists; shopping expeditions and Google searches for the best deals, it is a real tonic to have a breather and step away from the commercial side of the festive season and get creative.
I always enjoy making a Christmas wreath to put on our front door – it’s the original door from when the house was a school and it lends itself to some kind of decoration. In the past I’ve used dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks and pine cones for my wreaths, but this year I wanted to see if I could make the wreath entirely from foraged finds from my garden or on walks. And here’s what I came up with…feathers included!
Last Sunday was a bright, crisp winter’s day so I got wrapped up and headed out into the garden with a steaming mug of tea. First up was gathering the moss to wrap around the copper wreath base (apologies to any worms or bugs who have ended up as part of my Christmas decorations – I think I managed to remove you all).
Next is the fun bit – deciding on the look you want and finding the decorations. I must say that my wreaths always seem to evolve and end up looking completely different from the design I had in my head – but not in a bad way. This is the lovely thing about making your own wreath as each year it will look different according to what you have found on your foraging forays.
After attaching various pine and conifer foliage to the moss wreath for my backdrop, I got stuck into the finer details. I love the idea of using hydrangea heads but as I didn’t have any in my garden I used these gorgeous pink sedum heads as my main flower instead.
Then I added sprigs of Viburnum Tinus which has such glossy, green leaves. For a bit of extra detail I slotted in some rose hips and tiny larch cones. I scooped up the pheasant feathers on a walk a couple of months ago knowing they would come in handy for some creative project. In the end I didn’t feel the wreath needed a ribbon as the feathers kind of do the job, looking like ribbon ends. I also made an extra wreath for my parents as an early Christmas offering.
The wreath is such a Christmas tradition, originally created from fresh evergreens symbolising strength as evergreens survive the harshest of winters. In Christianity the circular shape with no beginning or end was supposed to symbolise eternity or life never ending.
Two years ago we went to a wonderful celebration for Sankta Lucia, an atmospheric, candlelit Swedish carol service, held at York Minster where a girl dressed as St Lucy wears a wreath of candles on her head. This beautiful event takes place this Friday, December 8th at York Minster.
You can read more about it on my post here. Until next time…