Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wreath Decorating 2015: Day 1

Well, this took me a while. I had to manually transfer a weeks' worth of photos from my phone. That meant connecting a cable — the horror! (Well, I did have to try connecting it to three ports on my laptop before I found one that worked.) Goodness, how lazy I've gotten now that everything is wireless and up in the Cloud.

So here we go. I put on an old shirt and a pair of old boots that I was willing to expose to metallic spray paint accidents. I packed up my apron, garden gloves, pruners, needle-nose pliers, medical adhesive tape for my fingers, hand cream, and a mug (since I inevitably spill a couple of plastic cups of water every year), and headed over to the church basement where we work.

The raw material had just been delivered: 

And then I unpacked at my table, and picked up my first wreath order. It was one of my favorite kinds — all-natural, outdoors, and no bow. Almost everyone orders a bow, and our bows are the most gorgeous ones around, but I also like working without one.

For outdoor wreaths, we can use holly and eucalyptus; holly dries and shrivels indoors, while eucalyptus can start smelling like cat pee. We can also use that yellow-tipped "cedar" (I call every green I can't identify "cedar" or "juniper," but in this case, I think it's truly cedar). The yellow buds open up and drop pollen, so those are banned for indoor use, too. On the flipside, there are lots of materials that can only be used indoors, including dried, fragile flowers, and stuff like sumac, which birds like to eat.

My next order was for an indoor pair with white bows and silver accents. I always find that color combination challenging, and these were supposed to be "glitzy," so I went more over-the-top than I normally would. These are going to one of the biggest houses on Commonwealth Avenue. The white sticks that you see are actually coated with sparkly stuff that looks like rock crystal. I think these look better in person:

The next order was for an outdoor wreath with a plaid bow and mostly natural accents plus gold. They wanted it to look good from the sidewalk, so I chose a metallic bow, used bigger pinecones, and added those eye-catching gold spiky things around the bow.

We were under less pressure to work fast this year, so I only decorated four wreaths. I took my time on these and also spent time hanging out and enjoying the work others were doing. There are many extremely talented and creative decorators and I have a lot to learn from them. A lot....


  1. I love(!) your style! All of your designs are beautiful. My favorite one is your first one without the bow!

  2. I always adore your wreaths..

    could you share some that the others are doing?

    1. I did take photos of a few other wreaths, but the best place to see them is on the Garden Club of the Back Bay's excellent website:

      If you go to the "Online Store," you can see an archive of wreaths from past years. There will also be a Wreath of the Day feature. They will also start turning up on the Club's Facebook page.


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