It is that time again! if you are already thinking about decorating your door for Christmas and are not really sure how to begin, here are a few tips.
Wire wreath frames can usually be purchased from a florist and on line but it is possible to fabricate your own frame with long stems of Willow, Cornus or even Honeysuckle. Wind a stem into a circle and hold firmly. Slot in another length and weave it through and out all the way round ensuring you cover the initial join, and still holding everything firmly, continue adding another two or three lengths the same way until the whole thing holds together.
Next you will need some loose moss and either thinnish string or mossing (reel) wire. This is also online and can be bought in garden centres, craft shops and at florists. Often now it is green coated wire on a spool but the ordinary old fashioned wire (black, not painted, just raw metal) is still obtainable. Moss is sometimes harder to find, but again garden centres might come to the rescue. I can hear the cries " There's plenty in my lawn!" There may be moss around in the countryside but do take care if you are foraging, as it may not be legal to gather it. If all else fails fine hay or straw will do the same job.
If you have moss, tease it out so there are no lumps and pull out any small twigs. Attach the wire or string to the frame, make a small pad of moss in the palm of your hand and binding from the outside of the frame over the top of the moss pad and then through the centre and back underneath. Make a sharp tug on the wire and repeat the bind about an inch further along to the left of the first bind. If you are right handed you bind clockwise round the frame and if you are left handed anti-clockwise.
I will write this now as a right handed person but if you are left handed just reverse the directions! Having secured the first little pad of moss, make a second one. Lift up the left end of the first pad, tuck the edge of the second pad under the first and bind as before, holding the pad firmly with your left hand and binding with your right. Repeat until you are all the way round and with the final pad smooth it over the end of the first one. If using wire make a loop of the wire and take it back underneath and over the top and wind it together with the single strand you have been binding with, or attach to the frame again if you can find it! you can do similar with string but tie the loop and single strand together into a knot and cut the spool free.
You should try to achieve a firm but not too solid base of equal density and shape all round. Cut short sprigs of Holly, fir, pine, Cupressus, Bay, tree Ivy, Viburnum tinus, Euonymous, Box........make a choice of a mixed wreath or just a selection of two or three varieties. Attach your bind again to the base and this time you will work in the opposite direction! Lay a sprig along the top of the mossed frame and bind in in the same fashion as before. then add further foliage to the outer and inner edges either separately or together, using your left hand to hold in place and the right hand to bind anticlockwise, add to the top, bind, add to the sides, bind....and so on. It gets a bit tricky when you reach where you started, but weave the wire in between and make as neat a job as possible. This will be where you can put the bow which covers a multitude of sins! secure the wire as before .
For added decoration you will need some 20 gauge stub wires (florist oo garden centre, Hobbycraft, the Range). Wire up some Pine cones, berries (if the Holly you had has no berries), small fruits, baubles or whatever takes your fancy and spear them into the moss base amongst the foliage. You could cheat here and buy ready wired bits and bobs! If you are lucky enough to have a glue gun you might like to add nuts or painted seed heads as they are difficult to wire. Choose a ribbon or even raffia and make a big bow, preferably with a wire to secure it and add it into the start-finish line. Decide if you want the bow to be at the the top or the bottom and using either the reel or stub wire attach a hanging loop to the appropriate place.
There are of course foam based wreath frames which are less time consuming but are more expensive to make. and easier on the hands. in the photographs the first one is the making of one as described. The second is on a straw base covered with Pine. In the third I went a bit overboard with the decorations on another Pine wreath.
NB Don't try cutting wire with your secateurs......they don't like it.