Head to your local flower market, the woods, or even your own yard, and gather fresh materials to make a wreath that you can hang on the door or turn into a vibrant centrepiece.
When you have made your choices and gathered a generous supply of plant materials (assemble much more than you think you'll need), condition them by cutting stems and placing them in lukewarm water overnight.
To make this wreath, you need:
- A circular frame of presoaked oasis
- A few branches of something evergreen (not necessarily coniferous)
- Berries or other types of complementary and durable plant materials. I used hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and was lucky to find some pieces with dainty cones attached, dusty miller (Senecio cineraria) to complement the hemlock's silver undersides, and cotoneaster berries. The cones will stay attached to the hemlock branches long after the needles have turned brown and fallen off.
- There are many other equally successful choices, such as deciduous greenery from Mexican orange blossom (Choisya ternata) or Japanese holly (Ilex crenata) shrubs, and various berries such as firethorn (Pyracantha—a bit of a tussle, but worth it), holly and beautyberry (Callicarpa).
- You could substitute sunshine shrub—also known as senecio—(Brachyglottis greyi) or herb foliage for the dusty miller; curry plant (Helichrysum angustifolium) remains remarkably fresh as well.
Putting it all together
Step 1: Soak the oasis foam thoroughly. Cut plant material stems on a sharp angle to the desired length (approximately seven to 10 centimetres).
Step 2: Elevate the frame on a cake stand or large, upturned flowerpot, so that you can rotate the wreath while you work.
Step 3: Insert hemlock pieces into the oasis, taking care to completely cover the top and sides.
Step 4: Intersperse with berries and dusty miller, or other foliage. Making a mess is part of the fun. Work on newspaper for easy cleanup and transfer to the compost. (Tie a bright ribbon to your scissors so they won't get lost.)