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You Can Grow It - Making evergreen holiday wreaths

On this week's segment, Jim Duthie takes us to a wreath-making class at Edwards Greenhouse.

Along with Christmas trees, holiday wreaths are a big part of the decorations of the season.  A wreath hanging from the front door of a home or business just seems to say “Merry Christmas” to anyone who comes by. 

Garden master Jim Duthie recently dropped in on a group of ladies who were making evergreen Christmas wreaths, and he found that every wreath was as unique as the person who made it.

It’s the season for holiday decorating, and seasonal florist Dacia Hill is at Edwards Greenhouse teaching these ladies how to make evergreen Christmas wreaths, and it’s something you can easily make yourself at home, too.

All the materials are ready to go:  the wire forms for making wreath, and bags of fragrant evergreen clippings, as well as a choice of decorations, including pine cones of different sizes and shapes, and festive holiday ribbons for making bows.

“There’s lots of blue spruce, which is what we have, probably three-fourths of our wreath will be blue spruce.  And one-fourth can be a combo – I have red cedar and hemlock,” Dacia said.

After some basic instructions, Dacia demonstrates how to get started.

“So start with your wreath, the right side up, get our paddle wire, because you’re going to do this all with one continuous piece of wire.”

She starts with a small cluster of the evergreens, and carefully wires it to the wreath form.  It’s followed by more clusters, each one layered over the previous one to hide the wire, until the wreath takes shape.

Then the fun begins, as the ladies select their materials, and start working on their wreaths. 

“I really like kind of do-it-yourself projects, and I live close to here, and Edwards is such a treasure,” said Kate Ledbetter.

She’s combining different kinds of greenery to form her wreath.

“Blue spruce, and then I believe that I’m using cedar.”

“Oh my gosh.  It smells like Christmas.”

And she’s adding some color with little red pompons.

“We’re going to see how it turns out at the end.  She tells me it’s going to look nice.”

Kate’s mom, Ann, recently moved into a new house and hasn’t done any outside decorating yet.

“So I want something that looks festive, if I’m not going to hang lights,” Ann said.

“I’m going to do what she showed using the pine cones and maybe one bow.  And I think I’m going to go the pompon route.”

Sisters Kacie and Bridgette Johnson are teaming up to decorate their home.

“Well, we have two double doors, so they’ll both have a wreath.”

So do these sisters have a little friendly competition going on?

“We have always.  Check back later.”

“We’ll have our mom be the judge of that one.”

Soon everybody’s wreaths are taking shape.

“I don’t know.  What do you think?  I think it looks good,” said Stacy Fish.

“I’m gonna hang it on my door.”

But Deb Mabbutt has a different place in mind for hers.

“So I can hang it from the front of my grill on my truck,” Deb said.

Since they’re made with fresh evergreens, these wreaths aren’t for indoor decorating, because they’ll dry out too quickly inside a warm house.

“This is an evergreen wreath that should stay outside.  Outside it will live until Valentine’s Day.  You can take your Christmas bow off and have just a lovely winter wreath.”

By the end of the class, these first-time wreath-makers seem pretty happy with the results.

“Happy holidays.”

And Kate was right.  Her wreath with the red pompons does look nice.

And for the Johnson sisters, good luck to their mom deciding which one she likes best.

“You don’t have to be an expert to put together a very festive and beautiful holiday wreath. 

Christmas wreaths are said to have originated in ancient times, and symbolized high social status and success.   After the birth of Christ, advent wreaths became a popular Christmas tradition.