Our 12-year-old son has been asking if we can put up the Christmas tree at home since August! Blame COVID-19 lockdown or home schooling, his sense of seasonal timing was shot. While the Christmas tree is still in the shed we're getting in the Christmas spirit, making a large Christmas wreath in our warehouse for the shop window. The inspiration is the six metre tall holly tree next to the Nundle Court House Museum. From its height and the number of suckers at its base the holly tree has been there for a long time and there was ample foliage to trim. Thankfully I brought gloves and secateurs because the holly foliage has spikes. We're too early for red berries, but there are green berries to add to the visual appeal.
Duncan suggested straps of new plum growth for the wreath base, so after stripping the lengths of flexible plum growth of leaves I formed them into a large circle using cable ties and a small table as a pattern. I knew I wanted to make a large wreath so I cut long lengths of plum and holly (80cm-1m). Annabelle Hickson's book on doing the flowers, 'A Tree in the House' was useful for brushing up on technique. Then it was a matter of coiling more plum growth around the circle to strengthen the frame. When the frame started to take shape, I started coiling and weaving in lengths of holly, leaving some lengths to spill out of the wreath for a little relaxed looseness.
When it came to hanging the wreath in the shop window, the foliage was so heavy that it needed a centre hook for support, plus help from two lengths of fishing line tied to small cup hooks to avoid drooping. Thankfully Duncan is handy with fishing line and knots. It's now in place and looking festive. It may turn brown in coming weeks, but I'll be able to freshen it up with more holly, or maybe young pine branches to continue the Christmas ambience and smell.