Cherokee County Master Gardeners held their annual Holiday Wreath Seminar on Dec. 4 at the Cherokee County Senior Center on Univeter Road in Canton. Sixteen local ladies arrived excited and smiling, armed only with a bare grapevine wreath ready to decorate for the holidays. Susan Franklin, a long time MG, has been teaching this popular class for the last 17 years and it is always full.
Prior to the class, mounds of fresh greenery are delivered to the senior center for the participants to choose and use on their own wreaths. Many Master Gardener volunteers take “nature walks” through the woods as well as their own gardens to gather cuttings for this fun event! Before attendees can start making their own wreaths, Susan gives a brief demo on how to make a festive holiday wreath. I have watched her presentation many years and she always makes it look so easy!
First layer: place sprigs of thick stemmed greenery on your wreath such as Frazier fir or magnolia leaves. It is very important to stuff your greenery in ONE direction only! After building your base, start adding more greenery of different textures and colors. According to Susan, a variety of colors and textures will make your wreath more interesting. A few examples she gives are adding hemlock with little bitty pinecones, gold mop cypress, or use both sides of magnolias, (the glossy green front and the brown velvety back make a nice contrast).
Next the fun and creativity begins. Susan allows participants to select fresh greenery and other decorations to start on their own wreaths. There was plenty of fresh cut greenery: Frazier Firs, Holly, Ivy, Spruce, Mountain Laurel, Magnolia, Viburnum, Hemlock, Japanese Cedar and Nandina. Also, provided were a variety of red berries, pinecones, acorns, nuts and florist supplies like ribbon, picks and wire.
There were four other “seasoned” MGs circling the worktables and we encouraged the ladies to let their imaginations go and have some fun.
It’s always amazing to me how different each finished wreath turns out. No two are ever alike. At the end of the seminar, it was unanimous that each lady enjoyed Susan’s class, had a lot of fun and were delighted with her unique wreath.
A gardening tip — when gathering live greenery from your shrubs and trees, remember that you are actually pruning the plants. Consider carefully which branches to cut and which ones to leave. Distribute the cuts evenly around the plant in order to preserve its natural form. Happy Gardening!