Wednesday, 22 December 2010

A Festive Wreath

Since moving to the country this summer (OK it's only zone 2 but I do have a garden) I've had grand ideas about growing vegetables, table tennis on the lawn and brick built barbecues: needless to say they have all come to nought. But my new garden has finally paid off.

As well as having some outside space we also have a proper front door with its own little porch so this year I was determined to have a Christmas wreath. I had a look online but decided I wanted a fresh wreath rather than one of the - admittedly very good - fake ones. Also, much as I love modern, abstract, designer wreaths, what I had set my heart on was a good old-fashioned bit of festive cheer. Having failed to find anything online I had a look in the numerous florists and garden centres in the area but when I saw that the going rate for a large wreath was in the region of £45 I decided I'd have a go at making my own.

Typically, once I'd made up my mind I wanted to do it immediately. This meant that rather than sourcing a cheap wreath ring online I paid (a frankly silly) £8.95 for a vine one from my local garden centre. But to soften the blow they did round-up my entire haul - which included dried oranges, cinnamon sticks, pine cones and dried lotus seed pods - to £10.50. I then purchased 3 packs of florist wire and a pretty deep-pink wired ribbon bringing my total spend to about £15.

And that was the end of the costs as everything else came from my garden. I collected a whole bunch of stuff but in the end just used some sort of pine-type stuff (I never said I was a gardener) to cover the vine wreath and then overlaid some pretty green and white holly which was hanging into my garden from next door (thanks neighbours!). Then it was just a matter of glueing the cinammon sticks together and tying them with some gold ribbon I had already, and then wiring everything to the foliage covered ring. The finishing touch was to make a bow from ribbon and that was it - my very own festive wreath.

I have to admit to being rather pleased with it: in fact I didn't see anything in the shops I liked better - and I'm including some that were in excess of £50. And the beauty is that next year I can re-use the ring and maybe even some of the dried stuff so it will cost me next to nothing. I'd be feeling like a proper Christmas queen if it wasn't for the fact that I haven't yet bought a single present or written any cards. Still, one step at a time.

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