On a Door on Monday

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!

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51 Responses to On a Door on Monday

  1. Pingback: In a vase on Monday – Advent Crown – Creating my own garden of the Hesperides

  2. Alison C says:

    This is beautiful and nothing says ‘Christmas’ as much as a welcoming wreath on the door. It’s even better that you foraged and made it yourself. I have an ugly plastic door but I make a wreath anyway and am hoping to get a nice looking wooden door one day. Here is my link: http://ablogaboutcompost.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/more-chrysanthemums-in-vase-on-monday.html

  3. Christina says:

    I wondered how many Christmas wreaths there would be today. Mine takes the form of an Advent Crown, but I’m sure there will be a wreath on another Monday. I love the simplicity of your wreath for the door and I’m pleased to learn that you think it will last until Twelfth Night without having any water; I may well try mine like that too. Hope you had a nice weekend away. Here’s my link: https://myhesperidesgarden.wordpress.com/2017/12/04/in-a-vase-on-monday-advent-crown/

    • Cathy says:

      The holly leaves tend to fairly dry by then but still look almost pristine, and the ivy certainly doesn’t doesn’t look any different. Yes, we had a pleasant w/e, thank you (Oxford) and I might squeeze a short post about it

  4. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday – Hydrangeas – Absent Gardener

  5. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Your wreath is so cheerful. Love the variegated holly. It gives it a lot of personality.

  6. Cath says:

    You’ve inspired me to make a wreath, even though my Holly berries are still green. I remember my Grandmother always arriving at the door at Christmas with a big paper carry bag full of holly for wreathes and decorations – a trap for young players searching for presents πŸ™‚ . Here it’s hot and I’m struggling to keep up with the Sweet Peas, but I’ve photographed some nice cool hydrangeas. https://absentgardener.com/2017/12/04/in-a-vase-on-monday-hydrangeas/

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I sometimes wear gloves when I make the wreath although it makes twisting the wires difficult and I took the risk of being prickled this time! Glad to know you feel inspired to make one yourself πŸ™‚

  7. Pingback: The dead and the living – Carrots and Calendula

  8. A simple but beautiful wreath Cathy and thank you for the instructions. You have inspired me to have a go at making my own this year as we too have plenty of holly and ivy in the garden.
    Here is my December vase:

  9. Thank you! That is a beautiful wreath, I usually make one and your method is far superior and easier. I am saving big Bromeliad flowers for a mad tropical wreath to do later. Natural wreathes don’t last very long outside in South Florida. Here is my vase http://theshrubqueen.com/2017/12/04/in-a-vase-on-monday-christmas-presence

  10. Lovely! The variegated leaves really make it stand out. My mother had huge holly bushes at her house and used to send me a boxful at the holidays. I was amazed at how long fresh cut holly lasted in a vase. It is not as easy to grow holly in my zone but I recently saw a couple of healthy bushes near a store on a busy street. That was enough to make me think I need to give it a try!

  11. FlowerAlley says:

    This is lovely and natural. I hope it will inspire me to make a wreath instead of painting the bathroom in the basement. I’d much rather play with greenery than paint.

  12. Pingback: In a Vase on Monday: Yippee for Hippee…astrums! | Words and Herbs

  13. Cathy says:

    This is lovely Cathy, being exactly what I think of when I thiink of a ‘wreath’. My grandmother used to make dozens like this and sell them when people came to fetch their Christmas trees (my Grandfather’s side of the Christmas business!) and they just epitomise the season. I lack the confidence and patience to make one myself, so good to see how you did it, in case I ever decide to try it out. Here is my contribution for this week: https://wordsandherbs.com/2017/12/04/in-a-vase-on-monday-yippee-for-hippee-astrums/ Have a great week Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Interesting to hear about your grandparents’seasonal business, Cathy. I wasn’t sure about the patience and confidence aspect but it really is far easier than it might appear. The first time I made one I used a foam ring but I remember that eing fiddly and somebody took it from our front door, so the wire was a cheap option the following year, gave a better result and lasted longer.

  14. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Thanks for sharing your wreath-making technique and the lovely result. I cheated this week and foraged for blooms at the store while grocery shopping but did cut some greenery from my garden to go with them. https://outlawgarden.blogspot.com/2017/12/in-vase-on-monday-cheating-again.html

  15. Eliza Waters says:

    Very pretty, Cathy. Just like the old song, ‘The Holly and the Ivy.’ πŸ™‚ I love the look of variegated holly and ivy combined. My creation this week: https://wp.me/p3O3z4-28b

  16. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial! I thought about doing a Christmas wreath this week but as our weather is supposed to get very dry (again) for the next several days, I put it off a bit. Still, my wreath-making is more on the order of wreath decorating rather than something pulled together from scratch as you’ve done. However, some new flowers have appeared in the garden recently so I made use of them in traditional vases: https://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2017/12/in-vase-on-monday-springfire.html

    • Cathy says:

      That’s the thing about IAVOM, making what we can from the resources in our gardens – and I wonder what YOUR new flowers are…

  17. Excellent job Cathy. Interesting that you don’t use moss. I shall pop mine in place of a Vase next time

  18. Cathy your Crown is divine and it sounds like Christmas. Thank you so much for how well you explained step by step how you did the crown: it was a great tutorial. With these explanations so good to see if I dare to make one. Greetings from Margarita

  19. pbmgarden says:

    Your wreath is just beautiful Cathy. Using the fresh materials is an excellent choice. Hope your time away yesterday was enjoyable. Not much blooming here so I resorted to camellias again. They’re having a good run.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – it would be silly not to when there is so much of it about, and it fits in with the IAVM ethos of course. We are happy to see your camellias if you are happy to keep resorting to them…! πŸ˜‰

  20. Anna says:

    Oh that’s a most attractive festive wreath Cathy and that cheerful red ribbon makes for the perfect finishing touch. Thanks for the clear instructions. If only I didn’t have two left hands when it comes to practical projects but maybe one of these days I will give a wreath a whirl. I hope that you enjoyed your weekend. We were away for one night at the weekend in Ludlow and something has just clicked! I think that you have also been celebrating a special day. Sorry that I missed it but wishing you belated happy birthday and all the very best for the year ahead! xxx

    • Cathy says:

      Oh I do hope it gives you the confidence to try one fro yourself Anna. And yes, we were away because it was a certain day, so thank you for your best wishes πŸ™‚ Hope you enjoyed Ludlow – they have a nice market there and some very nice (but expensive?) foodie restaurants

  21. johnvic8 says:

    A lovely wreath, and perfect for the season. Thanks again for sharing.

  22. smallsunnygarden says:

    A lovely wreath, just the sort I always envision! I’ve ‘always’ wanted to make a wreath and never had more than the foggiest notion how – nor the patience to look into it. Now I’m wishing I had saved some of the clippings from my recent pruning escapades. Thanks for all the inspiration and instructions – they will surely result in a wreath here sooner or later!
    There’s a small and very blue vaseful from me this week, complete with a rose (not blue!)…: https://www.smallsunnygarden.com/2017/12/04/in-a-vase-silver-and-blue/

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Amy – I rather think that the first one of these I made was just cobbled together, so luck rather than judgement and I have certainly not ventured beyond my original thoughts!

  23. Bec says:

    Ah that’s a lovely wreath Cathy – It reminded me to book onto a wreath making course locally πŸ™‚ I’ve written about fuchsias this week but mostly about Star wars – a bit boring perhaps for people who aren’t fans. And I’m only a day late too. lots love Bec

    • Cathy says:

      Glad you liked the wreath Bec and hope you manage to make one yourself ths year. I wonder if there is a logical connection between Star Wars and fuchsias, Bec, and I shall pop over to find out… πŸ˜‰

      • Bec says:

        πŸ™‚ I’ve been meaning to make a Christmas wreath for a few years but with my chap being in the florist business he tends to come home with one from a customer… I’ve made spring wreaths at women’s institute Denman college. Pretty straightforward considering…. Ah there’s always a somewhat vague link between topics on my blog πŸ™‚

  24. LisaDay says:

    This is lovely. I love holly, and berries, although I don’t neither.

  25. Pingback: In a Vase in Monday – winter childhood memories (and fuchsia too) | Views from my garden bench

  26. karen says:

    That’s glorious Cathy. I’ve started to cut holly branches in the garden and put them in the potting shed to rescue the berries before the birds get them. There’s plenty of berries for the birds so I don’t feel guilty. I have no internet so I’m behind again. I’ll probably be able to join in by the end of the week. Hopefully x

  27. Pingback: (A wreath not) A vase on Monday – deck the halls | Views from my garden bench

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