Fierce Florals For Christmas

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WORDS: Kathryn Cronin PHOTOS: Ricky Bache
Christmas is all about nostalgia. The memories of the past swirl with each stir of the pudding. It is why I think wreaths are so relevant and so popular at this time of year. They allow us to connect to that part of us which will remain forever childlike. Crinkling christmas stockings at the end of the bed, the scent of pine drifting through the house, the prick of a holly leaf, drawing blood as red as its berries, that kiss under the mistletoe – all remind me of Christmas past.

My first door wreath had an air of the sophisticated, made entirely of one floral, green hydrangea cut from my mothers Welsh garden. It was blown away in the first of the storms we had up here providing me a little needed excuse to make another. This one was more traditional. Pine and red berried holly from my garden with beaded ivy from the canal and cones from my extensive collection (I feel compelled to mention here that since my beloved found out you actually need to buy them, he’s become less bothered about the bags I collect). I wire them at the base so they are nice and secure.

My first wreath blew away in the storms, providing a perfect excuse to make another.

Indoors, I love using spray roses as the floral focus with the wreath being adaptable from door decoration to table centre. Gold sprayed tilansia provided a lovely sparkly addition to one, while white sprayed beech twigs made another look like it had been transported from a white forested Narnia. Include a candle in the centre if you wish. I added rows of tea lights along my festive table.

Layers and layers of textures in wreaths make all the difference to the rhythm and movement of the design. I used mimosa and brunia together with white astrantia in one to give a sophisticated country feel.

Lisianthius is another great floral for wreaths It is just the right size, has a very lovely “cottage garden” look that fits in very nicely with our desire for old fashioned and traditional florals at christmas time. The other plus is longevity.

Layers and layers of textures in wreaths make all the difference to the rhythm and movement of the design.

This Christmas I managed my first ever floral installation. Sadly, in the Autumn we needed to have a tree taken down. The only plus for me was a number of amazing branches covered in beautiful lichen that I could use. I also discovered electricians wire ties are amazing for securing quite heavy mechanics. Whilst my other half was out shopping for Christmas essentials, as they do, I started to bring in the branches (better done when he was out of the house I felt). It was quite easy to see where best to wrap the ties and once pulled, they held even the biggest of branches in place. I added bracken, sprayed white, to give that just frosted appearance, and hung cones of varying sizes throughout. Finally, I added test tubes (a marvellous idea from seeing Neil Whittaker at the Cheshire show) wrapped in beautifully textured wool, some white, some brown, some deep red. I filled each with matching flowers, from scented red freesia to white altromeria. The dining room was transformed into a winder wonderland. Yes, you needed to avoid a few branches going up the stairs but I was pleased!

Read more from Fierceblooms on the floristry blog.

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