Saturday, 6 December 2014


I've been wanting to have a festive floral arrangement on the dining table (I always have flowers of some sort or another) but didn't feel like chrysanthemums. It's too early to make my Christmas table decoration with candles, holly, ivy, oranges and red berries, but I'm psychologically moving into winter, away from autumn. So I popped into the garden one evening straight after work this week to see what I could find before darkness fell.

We have a few evergreens in our back garden, and some are variegated with white or yellow, and are quite colourful. 

I needed some bright colour too in the form of berries, so headed to the front garden. I was surprised to find that the cotoneaster which I posted about here had been completely stripped bare by the birds, and not a single berry remained. I don't mind, as I try to provide them with food in the garden. However, the callicarpa, or beauty berry bush, was still full of berries so I picked three twigs (the birds obviously don't like the taste of the bright purple berries).
Back indoors I found my favourite green spotty jug and made a very quick, simple arrangement with everything I'd gathered. It couldn't have been any easier, and I am so very pleased with it. It's wintry and festive, but with purple berries instead of the more traditional red.

I love those berries!

The next morning before work I went back to the garden and picked some long hazel wands

 I then picked some more evergreen foliage, including lots of ivy, some purple sage and rosemary and leylandii twigs. We had a frost this morning and the bird feeder was frozen.

The ivy leaves looked so pretty with frost on them.

And the normally purple sage had turned white.

Scattered brown hazel leaves lay on the crispy lawn..

On the tree itself the edges of the green leaves were delicately traced in frost.

My plan was to make a wreath for the front door. I do this every year, and no two ever turn out the same. I began with the hazel rods which I tied together in a loosely woven circle. Hazel is good for this because it sends out long, straight stems which can be bent easily into shapes.

When I'd finished weaving the circle, I started to wrap ivy around it.

After I'd used it all up I was tempted to keep it like this, as I love the simplicity of just ivy and twigs. However, the other foliage was picked and ready to be added.

I cut the stems of holly, herbs, osmanthus and leylandii into small sprigs and tied them on with string.

It just needed some little touches of bright colour, so I went back outside and picked (yes, you guessed it) some more callicarpa berries and some rose hips. I like the zing which they add.

Finally I tied some more string at the back of the wreath and hung it on our blue front door.  I'm very pleased with it, and to think it was all free from the garden! It should last a good while out in the cold, but I can remove wilted bits and add fresh as required.

I spent such a happy time making my arrangement and wreath, and feel very lucky to have our garden which gives me so much pleasure, even in winter.

Hope you can find some happy creative time this weekend x.


  1. What lovely arrangements! I planted some hazels earlier on this year as part of an edible hedge. I would love to do something like this in the future when they are ready.

    1. An edible hedge sounds fun - we don't get very many nuts from our hazel. Perhaps we prune it too often :)
      Cathy x

  2. What a beautiful wreath! I like purple berries!

  3. Great wreath! And the berries - I have never seen berries that purple! :)

    Take care

  4. I have to say that is the prettiest wreath I've seen in ages - Well done :) I love the callicarpa berries, like you say such a zing!

  5. I made a Christmas wreath for the first time yesterday but yours puts mine to shame. I'm really impressed that you made your hazel ring to begin with. They are such fun to make aren't they, and yours looks beautiful against your blue door. x

    1. Thank you! The ring is deceptively easy. I've made them from long grass and stems in the summer too, and let them dry. You just keep wrapping it around until it's big enough :)
      Cathy x

  6. I love the arrangement in the last photo, so cosy and pretty. Those berry colours are wonderful! I made a wreath base a couple of years ago from some honeysuckle stems that had gone manic so I must find this out and decorate it, you've inspired me to do so! Suzy....a new follower! x

    1. It's lovely to meet you, Suzy! Thank you for following me and commenting :) Honeysuckle is surprisingly strong, so that sounds like a good choice of base :)
      Cathy x


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