Reimagining the Holiday Wreath

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly
Magnolia wreath from Rose Bredl Flowers and Garden

Traditional evergreen wreaths are about as ubiquitous in the wintertime as snow. But there are plenty of other ways to incorporate evergreens into your home this holiday season.

Instead of hanging a standard front-door wreath, designer Craig Kaufman of Strader's Garden Center suggests a swag-a bunch of evergreen branches tied together at the base with twine or floral wire and hung upside down. Experiment with varieties like cedar, arborvitae, spruce and white pine for different textures and fragrances, and add embellishments for extra pizzazz. "You can get quite creative with that as your base," Kaufman says. "You can add pine cones, silk flowers or ribbon."

Evergreens can also be beautiful and timely filler for large planters and urns. Start with a base of evergreen branches and add magnolia, poinsettias or glittered silk flowers. Keep in mind silk flowers are a better option for outdoor arrangements in the winter, Kaufman says.

Garland is another popular holiday decoration, and for good reason: It's fragrant, pliable and versatile. You can easily wrap it around banisters and railings, or lay it flat on a mantle. To use garland in a less traditional way, Mary Ernst McColgan of Rose Bredl Flowers and Garden in the Short North suggests using one long strand as a table runner, then dotting it with arrangements in glass vases or cylinders.

"You could fill them with pine cones and berries, and maybe tie ribbons around them," she suggests. McColgan also frequently decorates with sugar cones in the winter. "They're the big, 6-inch pinecones," she says. Tie twine or ribbon around a few and hang them in a bunch from the door, or fill a large glass vase with three or four of them. She likes magnolia branches, too, for their large, leathery leaves.

While wreaths are typically made with pine, McColgan prefers using olive or bay leaves for wintertime wreaths for a more West Coast look. "Bay wreaths are very popular at Christmastime because they smell so great," she says. She adds pinecones and pepper berries for a splash of color.

Incorporating wood into floral decor is also a popular trend, Kaufman says. For winter arrangements, try supplementing evergreen garland or bunches with chunks of birch wood or red dogwood twigs for a naturalistic look. "It has sort of an early American, log-cabin feel," Kaufman says. "But it can be dressed up to look quite modern."