It goes without saying that fresh wreaths are a little obsession of mine. Nothing beats a winter afternoon gathering up twigs, moss and with Ireland’s beautifully clean air, lichens and using them to make something special for my front door. It’s now the most popular part of my work and I really enjoy creating something different each year. Wreaths are not just for front doors – Laid flat on a table and with added candles and little more moss, you can create a table centerpiece for the Christmas Day feast too!
If you are using pine or fir branches, be prepared for the sticky sap – moisturize first and wear gloves if you can work with them, if you do get sappy fingers, peanut butter works a treat to remove it!
Base points – Three types of base to use, the fresh noble fir wreath, the copper ring which you’ll need to cover with handfuls of moss and wire to create a base, and the floral foam ring, which is better suited to wreaths where you use fresh flowers and soft foliage. If using fir, pine, or spruce branches, there is no need to use floral foam – the branches wont be able to suck moisture up from it, and you need a firm metal or copper ring base to wire the branches to, to create a uniform look.
To create extra large wreaths, you can buy a cheap round plastic laundry basket, and cut off the top part – this is sturdy and when mossed and wired makes a statement sized wreath.
Metallic Lustre is a big fashion trend this winter, and you can incorporate some of this look into your wreaths with painted foliages. Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Goldcrest’ – you might have a tub or container with one of these in – it has a pleasing scent, and works well in bright colour schemes.
Prunus laurocerasus ‘Rotundifolia’ – Cherry Laurel, while not the most interesting of garden plants, it is invaluable for dense and impenetrable hedging. It also makes a sturdy filler and base evergreen for arrangements. Keeps its sheen for two or three weeks without moisture.
Ozothamnus rosmarinifolius ‘Sussex Silver’ – A cool green and white thin stemmed plant, similar in structure to Rosemary, but less green – it’s thin stems look great with a touch of pewter glaze.
Ruscus species make a great base for metallic sheens; I do like this coppery finish, very warm and inviting!
Birch Stems – Great for adding the wild touch to arrangements – The magic happens when opposing textures and forms mix and blend and ultimately enhance each other, like vinegar and oil.
Cut Eucalyptus species have the most amazing scent and they do dry fairly quickly, but in a manner I would describe as elegant – even when fully dry the scent of the eucalyptus lasts and I use it abundantly, even above fireplaces where the winter fires spread the scent around the room.
Pittosporum species make light and airy elegant filler in arrangements and there are many forms to choose from, those with larger leaves like Pittosporum tobira have been popping up in all the top florist’s arrangements recently.
METHOD – Once you have your base ready, it’s really as simple as deciding on a theme, and using small bunches of three stems of the same foliage to cover the base. Use what florists call reel or annealed wire if working with sticky foliages.
Hold the stems together and make approximately 40 small bunches for a 12” wreath, then wire them to the base.
Cinnamon sticks and orange slices are a traditional favourite dressing, or sprigs of holly with berries.
Christmas Demonstrations with Tara Maloney from White Dove Nurseries
SUNDAY 3RD DECEMBER –
Tara will show you how to create stylish, lasting fresh mantle decorations for your home or business, plus the mechanics you need to ensure your style lasts through the season! –
10% discount on the materials and fresh foliage you need to create a stunning seasonal centerpiece at home. Demonstration €15 including refreshments.
FRIDAY 8TH DECEMBER & SUNDAY 10TH DECEMBER –
Door DÉCOR & WREATHS
Create your own stylish door wreath using fresh and locally sourced foliage and flowers.
Workshop €39 including all materials and refreshments.
Afternoon Workshop – 2pm -3.30pm
THURSDAY 14TH DECEMBER –
UPCYCLE YOUR DECORATIONS
Bring a harmonious look to your home this season by customising your existing decorations –
Demonstration €15 including refreshments.
SUNDAY 17TH DECEMBER –
Learn the tips and techniques to create stylish seasonal decorations for your home, plus get a 10% discount on all seasonal materials and foliage.
Demonstration €15 including free refreshments.
Article by: Tara Moloney
Photography by: White Dove Nursery
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