Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Wreath

On a recent shopping trip with friends to Roger's Gardens in Orange County, I checked out the wreaths on display.

Wreath with Banksia - I thought the flowers were fake at first





Most years I buy an inexpensive Christmas wreath from the local garden center or tree lot.  Although they may have a few pine cones and a mix of greens, they're pretty plain.

This year's purchase, hung over the flagpole holder that came with the house


But I always add my own touches, usually a bow and Christmas ornament odds and ends.  This year, Sunset magazine featured wreaths with proteas and I thought maybe I'd use natural materials to embellish my wreath too (even if I didn't make the base from scratch).  Loree of danger garden added Leucadendron to her tree and I thought that was a good idea, especially as I have several of these shrubs in my garden.  I tucked in some Aeonium, Pennisetum setaceum and Heteromeles arbutifolia berries too.

My embellished wreath

In addition to a bow I've reused for years, I added succulents, berries and grass plumes cut from my garden as shown in close-up here

This close-up of the wreath's lower portion shows 2 varieties of Aeonium, stems of silvery Leucadendron 'Pisa' and cuttings of L. 'Wilson's Wonder' (I also used a few stems of L. 'Chief')


Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' isn't as red as it was in summer or as yellow as it'll be later this winter but I was still pleased with the effect.  And, despite our recent rain (another inch from the storms yesterday and last night!), the wreath has held up well in a largely unsheltered area.  Do you use garden material to decorate for the holidays?


All material © 2012-2014 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

26 comments:

  1. You sure fixed that wreath up nicely. I like how some exotic or unusual Christmas plants/flowers are mixed with the standard conifers. It shows imagination, thinking outside the box. It also shows a real southern California touch. I like that,too.

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    1. Thanks Jane! Maybe next year, I'll try making a wreath from scratch - or maybe not. The embellishment of this one was relatively quick and easy, which is an essential requirement at this time of year.

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  2. I liked your green wreath with pine cones.
    best regards
    Mariana

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  3. Your embellished wreath is very handsome indeed!

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  4. Looks great Kris and using Aeoniums is such a great and unique idea! Your personalised wreath is the best of the lot by a mile :)

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  5. Nice work! You took a plain jane wreath and made it a personal work of art, love it. I want to love that banksia wreath at the top of the post but it looks like they're just getting started, it needs more...

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    1. You're right - I also thought the Banksia wreaths were too spare. (There were 2, constructed in exactly the same way.) I didn't look at the price tag but my guess is that the addition of those blooms created a hefty price all by themselves.

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  6. It looks fantastic! So luxurious with all those Aeoniums and Leucadendrons. I would love to copy you, but don't have the heart to snip off the only Aeonium I have. :( But I DO have Magnolia leaves aplenty - they and their cones are nice too!

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    1. Thanks Anna! I have LOTS of Aeoniums, all offspring of a few stems a friend gave me when we moved in 4 years ago. I didn't think of adding Magnolia leaves, even though I used them in other decorations last year. I may need to add some of those too! (I'm using the Magnolia cones as a mulch of sorts in another of my vane efforts to put off digging by raccoons and skunks.)

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  7. It's beautiful! The gardens have so much good stuff for embellishing our Christmas wreaths, don't they? I use greens for a tabletop centerpiece too. But I haven't yet this year. I'm still not in the Christmas mood yet. This post is helping though. Thanks dear. :)

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    1. I find that sometimes putting up just a few decorations gives me the boost necessary to get into the holiday spirit, Grace. I hope that works for you too!

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  8. What beautiful wreaths. I love the one with Banksia but yours is stunning. What a very creative use of material, I would never have thought of using Aeoniums. Superb!

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    1. A lot of cut succulents look great for weeks and weeks so they seemed like a good bet for addition to a wreath here. I also have oodles and oodles of Aeonium...

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  9. Those Banksia do look artificial at first glance, but what wonderful pops of color they provide. I really love your wreath, reflecting both your garden's bounty and your own artistry. It clearly belongs in your spaces with its echoes of the plants surrounding it.

    I'll try anything, but I typically use nandina berries, evergreen loquat leaves and branches (if they aren't all covered with blooms and bees!) and on occasion, sea oat seed heads and buckeye seed heads, sometimes painted gold or silver.

    Next year perhaps you'll organize a one-time gardener's wreath making meme. That could be great fun, seeing how folks in different zones and climes do it up for the holidays!

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    1. That's a great idea Deb! I'll have to write myself a note so I don't forget next year.

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  10. I prefer your wreath, Kris, to the others. I was tempted to scour local parks after the windstorm to search for unusual seedpods but never got around to it. And I heard Torrance had an unusual weather cell stalled over it that dumped lots of water, caused flooding on Western, etc., but your wreath still looks fresh and beautiful.

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    1. I was surprised to see the flooding in Torrance on the TV news - and glad I didn't have to venture that way that day. We got a short-term deluge ourselves around 3am Wednesday morning - while not quite as loud or scary as the earlier "pineapple express," it was enough to get me out of bed to check out what was happening. I hope you came through the storms unscathed.

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  11. I love what you've created Kris. It's amazing what a little bit of imagination can create.
    I don't do a Christmas Wreath only because my front door faces west and the winds that batter the front of the house means that they don't last much longer than a few days if the winds are bad.
    ps - I thought the Banksia was fake too.

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    1. Those Banksia blooms are almost too perfect, aren't they? The grass plumes on my wreath got soaked during the last rain but they seem to dry out well. We do get high winds at times so I check the wreath daily to see if anything has fallen out.

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  12. I love seeing the great artistic ideas with wreaths using natural elements....I do not have enough greenery to use for the holidays but I am using a little bit. I hope to add more so I can use them in the future.

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    1. TexasDeb suggested I sponsor a regional wreath decorating exercise next year, Donna. Perhaps I'll do that and give us all an opportunity to see what we can do with our local materials.

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  13. That is an amazing wreath! I love the sprays of berries and needle-like foliage - very festive!

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    1. Thanks Jess. I'm amazed the wreath is still in fairly good shape despite 2 significant (for us, anyway) rainstorms and a bout with our devilish Santa Ana winds. Nonetheless, it'll probably be related to the trash bin by next weekend.

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