In a Circle on Monday

the wreath

Making a wreath has long been on my list of things I would like to try... but haven't.  At long last, here is my first attempt.  It took three things:


1. Cathy's simple instructions last week,

2. Other friends making and posting an assortment of lovely wreaths, and

3. Free trimmings available for the taking from the Christmas tree lot.


With all of that, I couldn't not try this year, could I?  Especially as I knew there would be plenty of other bits and pieces available from the garden.

close-up of leucophyllum foliage

The base was made with Douglas fir trimmings, along with a few bits of Noble fir.  Over that I used assorted materials from the garden: the round, silver leaves of Leucophyllum pruinosum "Sierra Bouquet", the long and slender silver of Lavandula "Goodwin's Creek Gray"...

lavender and leucophyllum in the wreath

...the glossy green of Arizona Rosewood (Vauquelinia californica), with blue Italian cypress...

arizona rosewood foliage (Vauquelinia californica)

...and trimmings from the lemon tree.  Sorry, I couldn't persuade myself to sacrifice any lemons!

lemon foliage with douglas fir

However, as I completed it, I still felt it needed a burst of color, something like the traditional red berries or fruits.  I didn't even have a ribbon handy!


Back to the garden for the most unorthodox touch of all: a few stems cut from Euphorbia tirucalli "Sticks on Fire".  I know they will last well, at any rate!  And they bring an unmistakable touch of the desert.

close-up with lavender and euphorbia

So there it is, my first wreath.  I can already see plenty of things to do differently next time, but hopefully this means there will be many more!  Thanks to Cathy for the inspiration and instructions!  And for hosting the wonderful In a Vase on Monday, which has encouraged me to do so many things I'd always wanted to try...!

the completed wreath

Weather Diary: Fair; High: 78 F (26 C)/Low: 49 F (9 C); Humidity: 7% - 34%

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Comments: 16
  • #1

    Derek Grant (Monday, 11 December 2017 16:55)

    Lovely series..... the weathered, wooden door provides the perfect background.

  • #2

    Kris P (Monday, 11 December 2017 19:20)

    Well done, Amy! I laughed when I saw the Euphorbia stem in the first photo - now that's local color! I usually buy an evergreen wreath from the garden center and add Aeoniums and other plants more reflective of my garden (though that's never included 'Sticks on Fire'!). I haven't bought a tree or a wreath yet though as it's so dry here. Believe it or not, your humidity is higher than ours, at least at the upper end of the spectrum - we're not even getting above the teens at night right now.

  • #3

    Eliza (Monday, 11 December 2017 19:44)

    Well done on your first wreath! Your adding 'Sticks on Fire' was just the right touch.

  • #4

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Monday, 11 December 2017 21:56)

    Thank you so much, Derek! It did make a rustic effect - rather appropriate for my first wreath, I suspect ;-)

  • #5

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Monday, 11 December 2017 22:06)

    Kris - I just had to try slipping the euphorbia in... ;-) It surely gives the wreath a little extra character, though it does seen a bit strange combined with Douglas fir lol! I don't blame you for holding off bringing in anything potentially combustible right now - I think I'd do the same! I can't believe you're getting 2% humidity in December...!

  • #6

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Monday, 11 December 2017 22:08)

    Eliza - Thank you so much - that euphorbia is one of the brightest things in the garden just now, so it seemed appropriate for the job. :-)

  • #7

    Loree (Monday, 11 December 2017 23:51)

    Well done! I love that you included the bit of Euphorbia, you’ve got me wishing I had a big enough plant to make an entire wreath from them...wouldn’t that be fabulous!?

  • #8

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Tuesday, 12 December 2017 10:05)

    Now that would be great, Loree! I kept worrying that stems would be too soft and break or crush as I worked with them... visions of white sap all over everything. But they held up very well, so a whole wreath - yes!

  • #9

    Cathy (Tuesday, 12 December 2017 12:34)

    Wow, that is a lovely wreath Amy! The Euphorbis gives it that distinct exotic look, and yet it is traditional at the same time. That was a brainwave! And is that your front door? Not at all what I imagined for a house in the desert!

  • #10

    Brian Skeys (Tuesday, 12 December 2017 15:08)

    The colourful Euphorbia certainly lifts your wreath. It looks very much like dogwood stems.

  • #11

    Cathy (Thursday, 14 December 2017 02:46)

    Oh I am so pleased you were motivated to make a wreath Amy - and what fun finding the different elements in your garden or freebies from elsewhere. That euphorbia really sets it alight - I thought it was cornus stems at first which look similar. What a great result - enjoy it iver the coming weeks ☺

  • #12

    Diana Studer (Friday, 22 December 2017 15:40)

    Maybe next year I could try a wreath. By then the firesticks will be that bit bigger.

  • #13

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Sunday, 24 December 2017 17:56)

    Cathy@Words and Herbs - Thank you so much! :) I did enjoy slipping in the Euphorbia with its bright orange! I would guess the door originated in Mexico as some of the other hardware in the house definitely did. I couldn't say the door completely sold us on the house, but it certainly helped! ;-)

  • #14

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Sunday, 24 December 2017 17:59)

    Brian - I've been surprised at the need for some equivalent to dogwood stems here. One really does need brightly colored stems. I don't usually cut the Euphorbia because of the obvious extra effort of getting the rather vigorous flow of sap stopped, but it's well worth it!

  • #15

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Sunday, 24 December 2017 18:10)

    Cathy@Rambling in the Garden - Thank you so much! :) And I am still enjoying it, despite the rosewood leaves, in particular, drying out quite a bit! I think this won't be the last wreath you see for Mondays... ;-)

  • #16

    Amy@smallsunnygarden (Sunday, 24 December 2017 18:14)

    Diana - My Euphorbia has been a fast grower, so maybe next year! Mine loses a good deal of its color during summer. I wonder whether this is only because of our very hot temperatures?