So Christmas is approaching and I am sure, being the thrifty and creative person you are, perhaps you are looking at making your own wreath to adorn your front door.
For a start, buy a decent pair of gloves. Warm and robust. A pair that will hold back the most fearsome holly thorn. The Town and Country Premium Leather and Suede gloves with fleece lining are exceptional if I do say so myself. Next, decide what you want to achieve? A small garland or a huge planet sized object forcing you to use the back door for the season?
- 1m of narrow gauge chicken wire or a 30cm foam ring.
- 1mm metal wire, florists binding or garden twine.
- Greenery / Flora.
- Ribbon or other decorative materials.
Once you have decided, start to create! If you are using chicken wire, fold it into a size which will work for your design, making sure it is not impassable for the stems to pass through, but tight enough to hold the material. The beauty of using chicken wire is you can shape it. Perhaps a bell shape, or a snowflake, or the traditional circle. Make a loop of wire and attach it to the back of the frame. This will be the place to fix it. Now comes the fun part. Choosing your greenery. Go into your garden, or into the nearest area where there is a multitude of flora with your secateurs (making sure you have asked permission from the landowner). There are thousands of evergreen shrubs surrounding us, but there is also a plethora of coloured plant stems. Ilex (Holly), Tillia (Lime), Hedera (Ivy), Skimmia, Luarus nobilis, Euonymous, Jasminum, Osmanthus, Viburnum, Lavender, Santolina, not to mention all the lovely varieties of fir tree. And if you are feeling really experimental or brave, try some citrus fruits or apples, horse-chestnuts or oak apples – and maybe even feathers and seashells if you are that way inclined. When you have chosen your material, prune long lengths if you are using the chicken wire, or short if you are using the foam. Always making sure you do not leave the host plant unsightly, bald or indeed beyond any chance of life! Return home with your bounty and have fun. The trick is to add small amounts at a time. Keep the design balanced, so evenly spread out the material. If you are having problems attaching the material use the binding wire. Happy Christmas!
-- Guy Deakins