Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Good Wreath. It's Oh So Simple; Don't Spend Money on Costly Decorations When You Can Dazzle for Next to Nothing

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Good Wreath. It's Oh So Simple; Don't Spend Money on Costly Decorations When You Can Dazzle for Next to Nothing

Article excerpt

Byline: YOUR GARDEN With Diarmuid Gavin

There was a programme on TV recently which followed people whose job was to supply and buy top-end Christmas decorations. Throughout the show I saw decadent baubles, which totalled PS10,000, as well as dazzling jewellery, which included a diamond mushroom necklace with a USB stick hidden inside which cost PS22,000!

One decorator had a budget of PS250,000 to decorate a London house for the festive season... but there was no guarantee that the family who owned it would visit from abroad to see it.

The fluffy man's beard As we set about decorating our home, we wondered if any of the big spenders or recipients enjoy what the rest of us do? The drive to the Christmas tree farm, watching our chosen fir being felled, the frustration of Christmas tree lights not working as Strictly waltzes away on the telly... or the annual attempt at making a wreath? There's great fun to be had making your own decorations, so if you haven't already bought a wreath for your front door, here's my easy how-to guide.

First, forage in your garden - you'll be surprised how much suitable material is there!

You're looking for evergreens for your base, so they could be plucked from the leylandii hedge, a holly bush or branches from a pine tree.

Other suitable candidates are Sarcococca, ivy, moss, skimmia, rosemary, bay laurels and viburnum.

When you're gathering material it is a good idea to condition it first - steep it in a bucket of water after cutting for a few hours so that the cuttings will remain fresher for longer.

Next, you will need to look for some decorative materials - these could be berries, pine cones or interesting seed heads, such as poppies, teasels, eryngiums and globe thistles.

Dried hydrangea flowers look glamorous sprayed in gold, and this year I'm eyeing up the large agapanthus heads with their spiky globe shapes. …

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