Thomas J. Story
Winter is the time for citrus in California; pair garden cuttings of kumquats with salal and boxwood.
1. Start with a wire wreath frame and a spool of 22-gauge wire, both available at craft stores. Using a 2-foot piece of wire, secure a bunch of 4 or 5 stems of salal and boxwood (each about 4 in. long) to the wreath frame, wrapping the bunch near the end of the stems three or four times.
2. Repeat the process with another bunch, continuing with the same piece of wire and overlapping the first bunch; work counterclockwise around the wreath, starting new pieces of wire as necessary.
3. When the wreath is covered, insert sprigs of kumquats (each with at least two or three fruits attached) into the greenery. The wreath (and garland below) will last longer in the shade.
1. Cut two 11-foot lengths of clothesline. Starting at the end of one cord, use a 2-foot piece of 22-gauge wire, as on the wreath, to secure a 4-inch-long bunch of salal, boxwood, and kumquats to the rope.
2. Repeat, layering bunches until you reach the cord's end. Cover the second one similarly. Join the two garlands together with wire.
3. Wrap two plastic-foam rings with ribbon, loop fishing line through each ring, and suspend from nails driven into door frame, as shown. Thread garland through rings, hooking it on a centered nail. ― Mary Jo Bowling
In a design that makes use of items available at floral-supply and craft stores, bold desert plants pair with deep burgundy pots to bring a festive look to a Southwest-style house.
1. Accent a manzanita wreath by poking Spanish moss and green-painted canella berries into the stems.
2. Insert the stems of pincushion proteas into floral water tubes.
Use 6-inch pieces of 22-gauge wire to tie floral tubes into wreath, hiding them with moss or other greens.
1. Transplant lush green Carex tumulicola from 1-gallon cans into the soil around the base of a succulent such as giant yucca ( Yucca elephantipes).
2. Place 8-inch-tall, 3-inch-thick white pillar candles on spiked candle holders and gently set them in 5-gallon Aloe vera plants or grasslike sedge.
3. Use 22-gauge wire to tie canella berries and branches of creosote bush (called tiger branches at florists) to posts. ― Sara Luce Jamison and Lauren Bonar Swezey
Washington apples and prunings of bloodtwig dogwood ( Cornus sanguinea) brighten a wreath and garland of cedar and Douglas fir prunings.
1. Start with a wire wreath frame; use pieces of 22-gauge wire (each about 3 ft. long) to attach bunches of approximately 8-inch-long cedar and Douglas fir clippings around it, working counterclockwise as described for the citrus wreath.
2. Tuck 8- to 10-inch-long bunches of dogwood prunings securely into the greenery, spacing them evenly.
3. To attach apples, make a hole through a segment of each fruit with a skewer, then pass an 8-inch piece of wire through the hole with even lengths protruding on either side.
Position fruit against greenery, poke wire's two ends through branches and around frame, and twist together. The apples will last longer in cool, shaded areas; replace as necessary.
1. Start with two 11-foot lengths of clothesline. Use approximately 3-foot pieces of 22-gauge wire to tie on bunches of cedar and Douglas fir greenery and dogwood prunings. Finish with apples as described for the above wreath.
2. Tie the two garlands together by wrapping them with wire. Hang the garland as described for the California Citrus Garland. ― Steven R. Lorton and Jil Peters