The shops are now bursting with goodies ready for Christmas, it’s about time to order the turkey and make that all important gift list, which for me seems to grow every year. Everything is festive, pretty and colourful and we are all on the look out to how we can make it even better than last year.
It is an expensive time, I tend to start my shopping in early November because I am a browser and I like to think about the gifts I am buying for people before I make that all important purchase. It’s a perfect occasion to be creative and save money in the process; I have a wealth of hobby style books at home and this week the collection has grown by one. My new edition concerns Christmas and contains creative ideas and recipes in order to make your Christmas perfect, I was suitably impressed by the little timetable of events at the front of the book. The schedule ran throughout the year, with the majority share of the work kicking off in October! Giving advice to when you should make your Christmas cake and preserves and when to assemble your wreath, in all honesty it was a bit depressing. I am a natural planner, but I like to have a little flexibility and I don’t really make preserves; I also tend to keep my list in my head and so I avoided that page. However the book did provide some great inspiration for Christmas decorations and wreaths, which I am hoping to try out for my Festive markets in December.
It is however possible to construct a wreath completely out of collected garden material, a florist round metal frame, plus florist wire and bright coloured ribbon. Foliage such as Holly, Ivy and garden berries and other foliage are great for this and all can be collected usually from a garden or during a Sunday walk. At the same time collect some pine cones and you then have everything you need for a nice little wreath, table posy and even a matching fireplace garland. To make the wreath all you need to do is wire the foliage onto the frame of your wreath with your stub wire; attach the foliage around so it is flowing around in a spiral direction and you will then achieve the circular ever flowing wreath. Be careful with the Holly though, I would suggest wearing garden gloves because of the spikes! Mix in some berries and pine cones here and there, no real rules to follow, whatever looks natural and nice. Just be sure to attach using your wire securely. You can even add roses here and there because they look good even when they have dried out and are no longer fresh. Finish the wreath with a nice bow at the top and hey presto you have a fantastic display for your door! Very easy to do! You can also put together some matching round table posies with the same material if you have some Oasis and a pretty pot. Finish it off with a candle, but use for decoration only because a lit candle is a fire hazard. If you also want a garland, just wire the foliage and cones etc securely onto some thick garden string instead and turn as you go so the display is evenly spread. If using garden material I would watch out for snails and other little creatures, it can be somewhat distracting to have a little pair of eyes looking up at you/your guests when eating dinner.
At this time of year, squirrels and birds will be collecting up food and nuts for the colder months to come. Only this Sunday morning after a recent red berry collection with my partners Mum for my wreaths; I was disappointed to find a little squirrel eating all of the red berries off the cut stems directly out of the bucket. I neglected to notice I had effectively displayed an ‘all you can eat’ buffet for this little squirrel in my garden and I can now say the bucket is now in my garage and I have saved the red berries from destruction. However it did give me the basis for a new idea! Why not turn a wreath into a bird feeder and display in your garden, all you need for this is a moss covered constructed wreath (you can buy these from most hobby style shops), some little mini bags of nuts and seeds (preferably in netting style bags), some coloured raffia type ribbon/string and a mini garland of straw or large seeds if you can get one. The moss wreath is naturally pretty and therefore all you need to do is wire the little bags attractively around the wreath here and there, wire the raffia and arrange the mini garland in swag shapes around the wreath. I would suggest using extra wire because I have a feeling that little squirrel is going to be extra clever and I am sure he would love to take the whole bag away if he could. I also now feel less guilty about removing the ‘all you can eat’ buffet and what a fantastic little idea for your garden!
Happy arranging! PS – If you try and of my ideas, please do post pictures etc to my Facebook wall – I would love to see the results of your hard work.