My Mom always made holiday wreaths for the front door of her Los Angeles home. There were no changing seasons, but the changing months were marked by the steady progression of wreath projects laid out on the dining room table. Getting ready for the first fall in my new home, I followed my Mom's lead with a wreath inspired by her Southern California garden that would get me get me through a Midwestern Holiday Season!
Greens & Things:
I started off at one of my best kept Broad Secrets--Trader Joes' flowers. Hands down the best value on flowers! Even when I lived in Los Angeles, home to the largest wholesale flower district in the country, I would supplement a lot of my floral buys with purchases from TJ's. The selection is seasonal and unpredictable but they always carry a few staples:
Stargazer lillies-these super-fragrant, large blossoms are traditional "funeral flowers" but are some of my favorite for their large size and intense, room-filling powers of sweet scent
Poms-Poms are a type of daisy that come in a variety of different colors. I generally only go for the very pale chartreuse ones as I generally hate anything daisy and think the other colors are tacky but they make great fillers and can add a pop of color.
Eucalyptus-The scent of eucalyptus is the smell of my childhood. There were always cuttings from the giant tree in the backyard stuck in vases around the house or hung in a bathroom filling the air with their distinctive scent. Eucalyptus is a lively, fragrant filler for floral displays and a perfect framework for a wreath.
Some kind of berry, branch or stick-These vary seasonally, but there is always some kind of something on a stick. Mini pumpkins, little red berries, those papery Chinese lantern flowers can all lend a touch of whimsy to a floral arrangement or wreath.
Next I turned to my front porch and planters of Rosemary and Lavender in danger of being killed off by the upcoming snow. I thought this was a great way to preserve some of my summer garden and not let these beautifully fragrant herbs go to waste.
I grabbed a few items at the local dollar store (a small wreath frame and some wired ribbon)
My Trader Joes' Flowers (6 bunches of Eucalyptus, 1 bunch of berries, 2 bunches of lillies, 2 bunches of Poms for under $30)
Floral wire and a wire cutter
Using the large pieces of Eucalyptus to create a base, start curving them around the wreath frame, securing with floral wire every few inches keeping the stem tight to the frame but allowing the leaves to flop around loosely and do their own thing. I went for an asymmetrical look, bulking up one side with particularly seed-heavy branches and then creating a sparser look on the other side with the rosemary. Secure rosemary and lavender, curving stems to conform to the shape of the wreath frame but allowing ends to stick out a bit for a looser, less formal look.
Once you are happy with the general shape, add a bit of color or a few outlier branches to create a little visual interest. I added a few pieces of rosemary sticking out on either side.
Check wreath for symmetry and adjust then add a colorful ribbon, piece of rope or leather to hang. I stole an easy cheat from my Mom, the wreath queen, and use an extra-long piece of ribbon slipped over the top of my door and then tied to the inside door handle to secure. This makes for easy adjusting and removal and means you don't have to buy one of those metal wreath-hangers! Use extra greens and flowers for a lovely fall floral display!