Wreaths from the garden

Here's how to decorate with the greens, twigs, and mosses that grow where you live

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Photo: Thomas J. Story

  • wreathred

    Bosket’s yard-wide redtwig dogwood wreath is displayed outside a log shed. Nearly any deciduous tree or shrub with colored bark will work in wreaths including coral bark maple (salmon or orange) and paper birch (white). But color isn’t everything: Grapevine wreaths are classic and bundled grasses come in a wide array of greens and earth tones.

Build a twig wreath

1. Patti Bosket snips freshly pruned redtwig dogwood branches into 8- to 12-inch lengths-just the right size to cover her 16-inch (inside diameter) wire wreath frame. After assembling a bundle of 7 to 10 dogwood cuttings, Bosket binds it together with green floral wire, then makes other bundles.

2. Bosket binds the cut ends of the bundles to the wreath frame at 8- to 10-inch intervals, staggering cut ends (and covering them with uncut ends) so the wreath doesn't look too uniform; that gives it a more relaxed, natural aspect.

Wreath-making tips

Bring a few winter prunings from your garden indoors for several days to see how long they stay fresh. Then use the longest-lasting choices for wreath making (see below for some good choices).

Hardware: Pick up green floral wire and wreath frames at a craft store. You'll also need pliers for bending wire over twig bundles.

Evergreen cuttings: Try boxwood, holly, Magnolia grandiflora, pine, purple hop bush, and rhododendron. Balsam fir, bay, eucalyptus, and rosemary add fragrance. Avoid hemlock, whose needles don't hold after cutting.

Accents: Fruit (especially apples, citrus, and pomegranates), holly berries, pine and fir cones, purple hop bush seed capsules, and screw bean mesquite pods all show well against evergreen wreaths.

Jim McCausland

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