Gardening for Health

Craft a Christmas Wreath 

By Maria Price 

Save money and have fun by making some of your own decorations. You can cut greens from your garden or a friend’s garden. A walk in the woods will yield many pinecones on the ground. Our native Virginia pines, also known as scrub pines, have small pinecones that grow in clusters. 

Pinecones can be spray painted with white, silver or gold paint. Use glitter that is snowy or in another style you prefer. Layer pinecones in a box and spray paint over one side at a time. You may have to do this twice since the pinecones absorb a lot of paint. Sprinkle the glitter liberally and let them dry outside to eliminate fumes indoors. 

Use a 10-inch wreath backing made of metal, grape vines or straw. If you have grape vines or wisteria, you can make your own backing by forming a circle and wrapping the vine over itself to thicken the circle.  

The pictured wreath used ten pieces of 12- to 14-inch length branches of grand fir, ten pieces of 10-inch lengths of Fraser fir and 10-inch pieces of Arizona blue cypress. All of the firs and the cypress hold onto their needles and all are extremely aromatic.

Start by making a bunch of greens with the two kinds of fir and cypress and use one continuous floral wire to attach the bunch onto the backing. Repeat with nine more bunches, overlapping each bunch on the previous bunch as you continuously wrap the wire over the stem ends. Tie a knot with the wire at the very end. 

The wreath is decorated with branches of San Jose holly which has large, shiny bright red berries. Branches of needlepoint holly with clusters of berries and shiny leaves were also added. Push the holly stems through the evergreen branches to secure. Wire your decorated glittery pinecones onto the wreath and finish with a wired bow.  

The holly is sure to keep evil spirits out and the evergreens will bring life everlasting. Merry Christmas.