Connecticut Garden Journal: Winter Wreaths | Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut Garden Journal: Winter Wreaths

Dec 20, 2018

Christmas wreaths are a welcoming sign of the holidays and making your own holiday wreath can be a good family holiday activity, even after Christmas. Many wreaths look good all winter long. 

Wreaths have been part of our culture for centuries. The word “wreath” derives from the ancient English word meaning to twist. Ancient Greeks and Romans used wreaths as a head dress to symbolize one’s status in society. Pagans used evergreens boughs in wreaths to symbolized the strength of life during the dark days of winter. Christians saw the circular wreath as a symbol of eternal life.

While evergreens are the traditional base material used in wreath making, try making your wreath with deciduous tree twigs or vines. Take birch, willow, grape, or other flexible twigs, and wrap them around a metal ring. Then add color with holly berries, winter green berries and crabapples or textures with mountain laurel leaves, oak leaves, and milkweed pods.

Try buying Indian corn ears from garden center for a wreath. Encircle your metal wreath ring with various colored Indian corn ears with their husks pulled back. Have all the ears pointing towards the center with the husks around the edge.

You can also decorate your wreath with dried flowers, such as yarrow, status and strawflowers. These plants will last well into winter. Don't get stuck on having your wreath be full. Create a minimalist wreath from a metal circle with just a touch of greenery or flowers for accent.

Finally, forgo the wreath idea all together and hang bunches of ornamental grasses, such as Northern oat grass, on your door.