How and what to forage to make a Christmas Wreath
Foraging for the perfect Christmas wreath
There are three important things to know when foraging to make a perfect Christmas wreath.
Firstly, you need a lot of greenery – so either, you have or somewhere you know has – a lot of it. Conifer and eucalyptus trees provide plenty of variety and are long lasting in a wreath. You will need at least three to four different types of plants. This will give your wreath volume and contrast.
Secondly, you need a set of tools – a good pair of secateurs, gloves and a sturdy pair of shoes.
Thirdly, you need a bucket to put your collected greenery in. You will need at least a full bucket load of the three/four different plant cuttings to make a 30cm wreath.
We recommend that you half fill your bucket/s with lukewarm water and add a floral preservative. We make our own (recipe below). It is usually a good idea to let your plant cuttings stand overnight before working them into a wreath.
Oh, and if you can get someone to help you carry the heavy bucket of greenery that’s even better!
For our Christmas wreath we used:
We love using the above plants because we have plenty of them in our garden (but please use anything you can get your hands on!). These types of plants last for a couple of weeks and the smell of spruce and eucalyptus is absolutely divine – just like Christmas. They also have an interesting arrangement of seed pods - we love this!
We then cut each branch into small sprigs and put each type of plant into a pile, ready to start making the wreath. We use a type of Juniper as the frame of the wreath – it’s really pliable and biodegradable which means that there is no waste when the wreath is ready to be taken down and taken apart (just place it straight in the compost). Olive tree branches, Mulberry and Ivy are also great for this.
We don’t tend to use flowers in our Christmas wreath, as we like it to last for a couple of weeks. If you did want to use flowers, natives would be the best way to go as they will last longer. Or add a burlap bow as we have, or some wide Christmas ribbon for extra trim.
Once you have collected your greenery you can start making your wreath!
Flora Preservative Recipe
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon chlorine bleach
- 4½ cups lukewarm water
Flora preservative provides plants with water and food and contains a disinfectant to prevent bacteria from growing.
- Make sure the container you will be storing your plants in is clean before mixing ingredients.
3. Trim any leaves and branches that will be below the water surface before submerging plants.
4. Discard any decaying leaves or flowers because the freshness of plants is influenced by the gases and bacteria found on wilted or rotting plant material.
5. If you can, keep your plants in a cool location and out of the sun.