Magazine article Sunset

Making a Picture-Perfect Wreath

Magazine article Sunset

Making a Picture-Perfect Wreath

Article excerpt

George Lewis produces 200 wreaths each December You can use his simple techniques and plants from your own garden

Wreath-making isn't necessarily simple, but the time-tested technique shown here comes close. For the last 19 years, George Lewis, superintendent of Descanso Gardens in Southern California, has made more than 200 wreaths every December. You can follow his method, shown here, using materials from your garden.

The wreath diameters can vary. Mr. Lewis likes 12-inch versions for table centerpieces; he also makes very large ones, up to 3-1/2 feet in diameter, for special display situations.

For each 12-inch-diameter wreath, he gathers about a medium-size trash bag full of evergreen snippets. He also buys #9 galvanized wire and two spools of #22 florist's wire.

Mr. Lewis forms the hoop frame from a 42-inch length of the galvanized wire bent into a circle. He overlaps ends about 4 inches then spot welds them or twists them with heavy pliers. Florist's supply shops sell ready-made hoops.

You could also fashion the frame out of pliable branches. One finger-thick, 3-foot branch might bend into an even hoop; or wrap two or three branches together with # 16 galvanized wire. …

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