Three years ago Elisabeth Anderson combined her life long love of flowers, gardens and design to train as a florist and set up Amamini Flowers. The run up to Christmas is now one of her busiest times, creating beautiful wreaths and decorations for the celebrations as well as giving work shops for those who want to create their own displays. She has taken time out though to share with us how to make a Christmas wreath.
1) The first step is to either make a wire ring using chicken wire or buy one form a florist supplier. Size is a personal matter, but Elisabeth says, ‘I do think having the door all around the wreath looks better proportionally.’ The wire ring then has to be covered with moss, binding the moss with wire onto the frame.
2) Make assorted posies of your chosen foliage, berries and seed heads. Posies can be all one length or with longer elements within each posy, three to five stems should be enough for each posy. Elisabeth used blue and Strobus pine, red oak leaves, blue eucalyptus, seeded rose hips and grain seed heads. She recommends, ‘forage in your garden or the countryside and buy more unusual foliage, berries and seed heads from florists. You need to make at least 34 posies for a 12 inch ring and that is quite a bit of foliage! Look for evergreen ivy and fir type foliage that will last well when cut. Off cuts from your Christmas tree trimmings are a good source too.’
3) Fix a small loop of sturdy wire to where you want the top of the wreath to be – this is where a ribbon for hanging will be attached. Elisabeth warns, ‘it needs to be very securely held in place, a wreath of moss and foliage is heavy. Then starting where your hanging loop is and in a clockwise direction bind the posies onto the moss frame, overlapping each posy end with another as you go around your wreath thinking about your overall design as you go, this is where creativity and your own personal style comes into play.’
4) Elisabeth wires extra elements to the finished wreaths – below is a selection of three little windfall pomegranates dusted with gold spray. She explains, ‘I like to add elements personal to the client where possible. Cooks often like chilli peppers put into their wreaths or green oranges also look great in a wreath of greens and red details. Flowers can be added in tubes and hidden; I have put red roses for newly married couples. Pheasant feathers are lovely as well for wreaths for the country. When making your own wreath really think about being creative. I am not keen on ribbons and baubles, but there are no rights or wrongs.’
5) Then it just remains to select your choice of coloured ribbon and to hang the wreath. Fortunately, at such a hectic time, they are very low maintenance. ‘I don’t spray foliage with protector,’ says Elisabeth. ‘You can mist wreaths, although I don’t. I have my Autumn wreath happily on my front door now for seven weeks and it looks pretty nice still. Moss keeps things well.’
Contact Elisabeth Anderson at Amamini Flowers.
Telephone: 07532 169295