Wild Winter Wreaths

Words by Jill Hammond, photos by me, wreath made together! (With plants selected by Jill.)

I have to start by identifying myself as a bit of a scrooge when it comes to Christmas decorations. I think holiday decor is generally the worst. While I find it all to be pretty gaudy, wasteful and flashy, wreaths are the one symbol of holiday cheer that I can stand by. You can forage most the materials and if you leave it up all year, nobody really notices or cares. They can be natural looking and wild, but still remind you that it’s winter and we’d all rather be inside.

Beautiful wreaths can be cheap and easy to make, which is how I like most things in life. I encourage you to forage or snatch branches when possible and supplement from a market or flower shop for anything else you may want. You’ll need to select dry plants, since most fresh flowers will shrivel up or change color dramatically once dried. Though you can use any greenery that isn’t too heavy, some of my favorites are bay laurel, eucalyptus, holly, fir, rosemary and lavender. 

Because there are no rules to wreathing, you can create a specific pattern for your wreath as you build it up, or you can free form it like I've done. If you are a perfectionist, making a pattern in your wreath's mini tiny bouquets could take quite a while to finish. Since I am not, I can whip through one of these wilderness wreaths in about thirty minutes. Once you get into a groove, it’s smooth and simple. The end result is basically a winter wonderland for your door—and might end up just tidy enough to still impress the neighbors. 

Materials — You can find all these materials (minus the greenery) at a craft store
Garden sheers
Greeasn floral wire
Wreath form
Two armfuls of greenry

How To
1. Start by assembling tiny bouquets (4-6 inches in length) and wrap them at their base with floral wire.
2. Attach your first mini bouquet to the wreath frame by wrapping it tightly at its base through and around the frame with floral wire.
3. Continue to make more petite bouquets (for a small wreath, you may make 20-30 bunches). Overlay and secure them one at a time a couple inches over the last bunch, going in the same direction.
4. As you make your way around, try to avoid leaving any empty chunks of the frame visible, since the branches will tend to slouch a little over time once the wreath is hung up.