Holly wreath

I sometimes do slightly mad things on impulse and yesterday was a case in point. I have been reading about the lore of the holly tree-which is very varied and interesting-and on impulse decided to make a holly wreath for the front of the house. We have an “artificial” wreath for the front door and in the past I have bought real ones, but this year I decided to go for homemade.
Typing “How to make a holly wreath” into Google, I came up with this website. I had all of the things I needed on hand. I used a heavy duty garden wire to make a circle, wrapping it around a casserole I dish I have. Then out into the garden, armed with the leaf rake. There is a lot of moss growing in the lawn under the birch tree, where it is shady. I quite like moss-it makes a green surface where the grass is reluctant to grow, and in the spring both the blue tits and the blackbirds collect it to make or line their nests. 2 years ago, when I cleared out the nest box after the blue tits had reared their brood, I removed a 6 inch layer of moss they had used to fill the box and make their nest on. It took me about 5 minutes to rake pile of moss out of the lawn, but I have left plenty for the birds.


Next, working on the back doorstep, I laid out the circle of heavy duty wire next to the pile of moss, and then used a narrow gauge wire to wrap around the moss, fixing it to the circle.

In the picture above you can see the moss wrapped circle but the thin wire has “disappeared” into the moss. This is good. Too cold to carry on outside, so after I cut some holly from the tree in the garden and some ivy, I retreated to the kitchen to continue.

The next step is to push pieces of holly into the moss and wire them on. It’s prickly work! I wrapped ivy stems around the wreath as I went, using the holly and the wire to hold them.

The last step was to wire on some gold sprayed pine cones I have had for several years and just a few glass baubles.

Back out onto the step for a picture-needs a few rose hips from the climber by the patio and another bauble…and then hang it over the lantern by the front door.

There-finished! Cost-nothing but my time and that was freely given. I can’t fix it to the new door-it’s UPVC, so the lantern is the next best thing.

So-the first of the old lore, the origins lost before recorded history, says that holly was used to keep away evil spirits. Or to repel them and to provide safety for the friendly fairies to shelter in the house without friction between them and the human occupants. More holly lore tomorrow.

8 thoughts on “Holly wreath

  1. This is spectacular! Doesn’t it just warm the cockles of your heart when you can make something so beautiful just from your own two hands and a few wonders from your yard? Merry Christmas!!!

  2. Glad you’ve joined the home made wreath making sisterhood! Have a think about adding some Yew next year as folklore says it keeps evil spirits away.

  3. Oh and I forgot to mention earlier, if you use willow, dogwood or winter jasmine as your base circle, you can often get away without having to wire the holly etc. onto the frame as you can thread the stems through the wood instead!

  4. This is lovely…and we just happen to have a large holly tree way down at the edge of the pasture…what a fun project! Think I’ll try it out later in the week…

  5. Love all this holly lore. Your wreath is a triumph, I love it. I would really like to do this sort of thing but I never allow myself the time to do it, I hope I do next year. I am sure all your neighbours, friends and family must be admiring it. By the way I have an artificial berry one hanging up in my porch, the next best thing? x

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