Deck the walls
2. A mossy wreath
While you can buy the basic circular wire frames for Christmas wreaths from florists’ suppliers, it’s also possible to make your own from chicken wire. Start by shaping a cylinder of chicken wire (two layers thick) then cut it off the roll using a pliers. Gradually compress the cylinder by pulling the wires together so that you’re left with a wire circle. Bend any sharp wires inwards to secure the shape (you also don’t want them to scratch your paintwork) and then gradually cover the wire circle, front and back, with a thick layer of moss. Use a coil of florists wire to wrap it tightly into position. In previous years I’ve covered this mossy circle with a variety of evergreen foliage.
This Christmas, however, I’ve found that I like the look of the bare moss itself. Adorned with a few dried hydrangea flowers, generous handfuls of red berries and some strands of ivy, it reminds me of my favourite wild places.
3. A Nordic-style wreath
This is one of those Christmas decorations that requires a glue gun, so if you’ve never used one before, put aside a few minutes to practice. To make the basic heart shape, take a wire coat-hanger and cut off the hook with a pliers.
Unbend the two sharp corners and then bend sharply in the middle to form the bottom of the heart. Curve both ends of the wire by wrapping around a small bowl and, using a pliers, twist securely together to complete the heart-shape. Using a glue gun, cover this basic wire frame with your plant material of choice (this could be anything from dried leaves, rose-hips, spiny teasels, Chinese lanterns (physalis) or small pine cones to the seedheads of poppies or love-in-the-mist. Tie a simple ribbon bow to the top to finish it off.
For florists’ supplies, try Tip-Top Cash Carry, 49 East Arran Street, Dublin 7 (01-8731844) or branches of Woodies.
DATE FOR YOUR DIARY
February 2nd, 2013: Snowdrop Gala, Balykealey Manor Hotel, Ballon, Co Carlow. Speakers include Dr John Grimshaw, Rod Leeds, Paul Cutler . €60 (if booked before December 31st), including lunch, refreshments, lectures, guided tour of Altamont Gardens and access to plant sales. Contact Robert Miller at email@example.com for further details