|Make this amazing living wreath using Succulents and Sunshine's easy-to-follow tutorial.
This Thanksgiving weekend when my husband and I take the boxes of Christmas ornaments down from the rafters and dust them off in preparation for our annual holiday decorating ritual, there is one very traditional ornament that will remain in its box in favor of what may be a new tradition in our house.
Wreaths have a long and varied history, from Mycenaean funerary diadems made from gold to the decidedly more modest headgear made of leaves worn by Greeks to symbolize victory or royalty. Pliny the Elder also mentions wreaths worn on the head as a cure for headaches. Fast forward to the Victorian Era when elaborate wreaths were woven from the hair of deceased family members. The practice of creating wreaths from evergreen boughs most likely comes to us from a pagan practice in which the foliage of evergreen plants was woven together to symbolize everlasting life and the coming spring. This eventually led to the Advent Wreath of Christianity. The custom of hanging a wreath on the front door of a house is a modern twist on the Roman tradition of displaying victory wreaths on their front doors.
Back to our plastic wreath that lives in the garage eleven months out of the year and is, well, very plastic. This year I decided to create a wreath that is not only constructed of actual plant material, but will be around long after the tree is packed away and relegated to the rafters until next holiday season; a living wreath!
Look no further than your own back yard as many sedums and other succulents commonly found in Colorado gardens are easy to propagate from cuttings. Photo: Micaela Truslove
The vast assortment of textures and colors presented by these little plants is staggering. And they can be made using cuttings from your (or a friend’s) garden and will readily root once in the planting media in the wreath frame. Brilliant. There are plenty of tutorials online, and the materials and plants are relatively inexpensive, especially if you pilfer some bits and pieces from the garden. Since they can be assembled in no time, they are a satisfying afternoon project that will provide a little therapeutic gardening time to relieve holiday stress without eating into your busy holiday preparations.
Move wreaths outdoors once weather has warmed. Photo from Better
Homes and Gardens' living wreath tutorial, which can be found here.