The minimalist in me might have been perfectly satisfied with this:
But she was beaten into submission by the other part of me – you know, the one who raises her hand to participate in a wreath-making challenge.
The Charming Woodland Gnome over at Forest Garden blog issued a 2014 Holiday Wreath Challenge a few weeks ago. It’s appropriate that she issued the wreath challenge, now that I think about it. If ever a city was identified by its wreaths, it is her very own Williamsburg, VA.
Every year thousands of people descend on Colonial Williamsburg in December for the Grand Illumination and the unveiling of the incredibly beautiful and distinctive della Robbia wreaths which adorn the doorways of the historic area.
Richmond, VA is no slouch in the wreath department either. My friends over at The Gracious Posse recently posted “Wreathing Richmond.” Here is just one of the over-the-top wreaths you could expect to see should you visit our fair city.
Nothing that elaborate at my old Barn, I hasten to add. I chose to use the long basket as inspiration for the front door design. First order of the day was to gather the greens from all around the yard. You’d think I’d be smart enough by now to have worn gloves, but I have the scratches and slivers to prove otherwise.
Next to devise some sort of vessel for the fresh greens to stay that way in the basket over December. That came down to shoving an ancient Cool Whip container into the opening and filling it with wet oasis.
And then the fun part of arranging the nandina, magnolia, and evergreens.
Dahlink, I’m ready for my close-up now.
But this is a wreath challenge, right? Every year I harvest abundant boxwood from the aged shrubs in front of the house.
The clippings soak overnight and then we’re ready to rock and roll. I use straw wreaths, place magnolia leaves on the underside, and then begin pinning neat little bundles of boxwood to the form. Lastly, they get a good spraying of Wilt-Pruf and are hung out to dry.
The boxwood wreaths are particularly nice as small centerpieces with candles.
This year I tried moss for the first time and rather like working with the stuff. Upside: no need to get out the machete for harvesting. Downside: the wretched glue gun. Let’s just say I had forgotten how hot that glue can get.
Now for a wreath made for somebody special…..
My little English garden” cherub”, so old and cracked that he must remain indoors now, needed a little something for the holidays, don’t you agree?
All right, that’s enough wreathing for one year. I am heading into the kitchen to bake cookies, and if I’m lucky I may even catch up on my reading. That toppling-over TBR pile of mine is crying out for attention.
Maybe somebody should issue a “Book-A-Week Challenge.”
Thanks for reading,