Just as I was admiring all the lush foliage on sale in florists in Lewes, my friend Caroline reminded me how I have all of that (pretty much) in my own garden. And yes, I did make a door wreath last year and had momentarily forgotten I kept the base ring for this year.
There’s been a lot of rain lately but today I finally got out with the secateurs, picked some material and made a new wreath. But first, inspiration… We were in Rye at the weekend and I look photos or a few door wreaths. It rather helps when you have a lovely historic door to a house in the middle of picture-perfect Rye!
This one particularly stood out – it’s made entirely of mussel shells, as you can see in the close up!
So back to my effort. Once I’d collected enough stuff I spread it out in the potting shed and did a quick assessment. There was bay, holly and fir, some fatsia leaves and flowers (very structural!) and clippings of a number of smaller-leaved shrubs including pittosporum, plus some rosemary and sage.
The ring I used is a metal ring you get quite cheaply from a florist or online, and I wrapped it up in raffia, fastened with thin garden wire. As I’d done all the wrapping last year the ring was ready for decorating. There are all kinds of rings available to buy or you can make your own if you have the raw material of course. Caroline told me she made here from willow stems cut from her garden. I rather like the sound of that. Perhaps next year!
I began with the larger pieces – the bay and the fir, stripping leaves off a few inches at the base of the stem and tucking the stems underneath the the wire that’s holding the raffia in place. Sometimes, where the wire was loose, or where the stems weren’t falling in the direction I wanted, I used additional strips of raffia to tie them in.
Then I layered on the smaller-leafed stems where there were gaps. I tried to make a feature of the holly berries and the fatsia flowers. I checked every now and then how it was looking. I was wanting balance, and I tried to cover the raffia although in the end I didn’t mind some of it showing. The final addition is an artificial red rose that I’ve had for years and I like to incorporate it into each year’s decorations somewhere. The green hanging ribbon was already in place. So in the end the whole process took less than an hour. (It would have been longer if I’d had to prepare the ring.)
I’m very pleased with how it looks. Next week we’ll have friends coming over for drinks, so I’ll weave in some battery-powered wire lights which will look lovely in the dark!