The holiday season is so enjoyable. One of my favorite things to do for Christmas is to decorate my home. One thing that we can make ourselves from our own landscapes, is a wreath using the items we find in outside.
There are many choices for plants you can trim to use to make a holiday wreath. Many good choices include: Douglas fir, Austrian pine, white pine, yew, red cedar, and juniper. Spruces and hemlock are not good choices to use for wreaths because they tend to lose their needles quickly. You can also use many plants with berries on them for accent including bittersweet, snowberry, coralberry or holly. For other accents on the wreath you may choose to use pinecones, poinsettia bracts, bows, ornaments, or other trinkets.
You do need to be cautious when trimming your plants for use in your wreath so you do not damage the plant itself so that it can be aesthetically pleasing in the spring and in future years. Make sure to cut back to a larger branch. Don’t leave stubs of branches with no needles on them. Try to cut back into the plant so the cuts are hidden by other branches. Don’t take all of your sprigs from the same location on the same plant so you do not leave a bare spot in the plant. If you are careful with your trimming, you will do no damage to the plants and get a nice wreath out of it.
For the base of the wreath, you need to purchase or create your own frame. The frame can be a pre-made commercial wreath frame for a quicker finished product. To make your own frame, use a heavy-duty wire, such as No. 9 wire or an old wire coat hanger, to make a circle. The ends should be intertwined to make a circle. You can also make the frame from slender branches of plants such as wisteria, willow, or grapes. A frame with a diameter of 10-15 inches makes an average sized wreath.
To attach the plant material to the wreath, use No 22 or 24 floral wire. The sprigs should only be 4-6 inches long. If you make the sprigs longer, they will not be held to the frame and will droop off the frame. First, attach the binding wire to the wreath frame. Then, add 3-4 sprigs at a time and run the wire around the frame and the cut end of the sprigs 2 or 3 times for each section of greenery. The ends of each sprig of greenery should be cleared back an inch or so from the cut end of the sprig to allow for wiring to the frame. Add each new set of sprigs over the cut end of the sprigs you already attached to the frame so that it covers the wire and the cut ends. Continue this all the way around the frame of the wreath. More sprigs of greenery can be added throughout to help the wreath look fuller.
Complete the wreath by attaching other items to the wreath that will help make the wreath more intriguing and your own, these should be items that you enjoy for the holiday season. These accents should be attached to the wreath frame using the same wire that was used to attach the greenery. The best thing about making your own wreath for the holidays is that it can be exactly what you want it to be.
This wreath can then be hung up by the wire frame onto a door or wall to enjoy throughout the holiday season. To see a video on how to make a wreath from your landscape, visit the UNL Acreage Insights website, in December or after, at http://acreage.unl.edu