Knowing we were going to be away for the weekend and therefore not around on Sunday to prepare a vase for Monday, I decided to combine my seasonal wreath-making with the Monday meme this year – and thus we have another vaseless Monday.
Living with a garden in a semi-rural setting with a mature holly hedge and a plentiful supply of ivy encouraged me some years ago to try my hand at making a Christmas wreath for the first time. Despite the initial lack of confidence, I remember being surprised at how easy it proved to be and have made one every year since. It takes only ten or fifteen minutes to collect the materials and then no more than an hour to put it together, and recycling the non-consumable elements each year means it costs absolutely nothing to make – and of course, like my Monday vases, the living material has come straight out of our own garden. The format has not changed at all over the years because it always feels ‘just right’ as it is and thus cannot be improved on. Another traditional routine, I suppose! Do you want to see how I do it?
First, I collected the materials: holly (preferably with berries), flexible ivy stems, ivy berries, a circle of bent wire, thin garden wire and some ribbon…
We don’t get berries on the plain green holly of the hedge, so I pick from our variegated holly tree for our wreath, although you can guarantee that most berries will be too high to reach. I picked both variegated and plain ivy this year, but used only the plain green in the end. The wire circle could well have started life as a coat hanger and is held together with parcel tape whilst a bundle of pieces of thin wire is wrapped round it so they don’t get lost from year to year. The ribbon is of the wired variety so can be bent into a tasteful bow.
Firstly, I laid the stems of holly on the wire circle, ensuring the berries were well-distributed around it:
Then I placed the lengths of ivy with the fruits around the ring:
Next, I twisted the thin wire at intervals around the ring, holding the holly and ivy berries in place, and then snipped off wayward stems:
Finally, the flexible stems of ivy were wrapped over and around the other materials and a bow added at the top:
The finished wreath was then hung on the front door where it will last happily till Twelfth Night before being dismantled and the wire and ribbon tucked away safely till next year.
If I had been at home to make a vase, I am not sure what I would have found to pop into it (perhaps holly and ivy!) so I shall be especially interested to see what others have put into theirs. Please leave the usual links so we can see what you have found. Pickings may well be thin, but we have got through a few winters with our Monday vases before and will do so again!