Tis the season for Christmas trees and assorted greenery.
Save yourself some money by getting all Martha Stewart-like by making your own — greenery that is. All you need is a pair of pruners, some florist wire or something similar, and whatever you can fashion to create the shape you would like.
You could even use a wire hanger or wire together some sturdy sticks to make a square shaped one. If you aren’t feeling that crafty you can always head out to the craft store and purchase a wreath frame to attach your greenery to.
The hardest part is trying to decide which greenery to use.
First wander out into your yard and eye up what evergreens you may be housing. There are all sorts of different types. You have the soft wispy pine needles of a white pine, the steel gray/blue needles of a blue spruce, the flattened but heavily scented sprays from a cedar tree and so on. You could even use boxwood or holly if you are so inclined.
Many of these types are a little sharp around the edges, so be sure to wear gloves so that you don’t scratch yourself up or later poke your fingers accidentally with the wire.
Years ago, I would make close to 100 wreathes each winter to sell at small stands at the farmers markets. The first couple of years were more of a learning experience. After you get about five wreaths in, you get the hang of it and can work some absolute magic.
I still enjoy making wreaths, just not on such large scale. My all-time favorite part of wreath making is adding different items that make each wreath unique. I stick to natural things such as pine cones and such, but it's amazing what a little bit of red colored broom corn will do. I have even made entire wreathes out of the plumes from ornamental grasses.
Be sure that when you attach the items with your wire that you secure each bunch separately so that they don’t lose their grip halfway through the holiday season. Trust me that it is easier to build a new wreath than to repair one that that is falling apart.
For a finishing touch, feel free to add a bow of your liking or leave it plain. It is also a great time of year to spruce up your outdoor flower pots and planters with greenery as well. Just poke your branches into the frozen soil and instantly beautify your planters. I prefer mixing red twig dogwood into those designs just for a little extra height.
Most importantly, leave your greenery somewhere cool. If you plan on bringing greenery items indoors, be prepared to spray or mist them down every so often. This is a similar concept to watering your Christmas tree. Otherwise, you will have your items shedding their beauty everywhere.
Enjoy the start of our holiday season and I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving as well.
Sacha Burns is an organic gardener and owner of Sunkissed Organics in Pinola. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.