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Holiday how-to: Deck the halls with live foliage

FRANKLIN LIVING—With fall in full swing and winter fast approaching, many people might be thinking of adding festive decorations to their homes. While ready-made options abound in stores and online, another choice is to go the do-it-yourself route.

Ashley Bolton of The Posey Patch Flower Farm in Russellville said people shouldn’t be afraid to DIY a holiday classic: a wreath. Homemade wreaths don’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. As little as $10-15 and 30 minutes can result in a Christmas craft to deck the halls in true holiday style.

Bolton said while building a wreath is a simple enough project to complete alone, it also makes for a fun activity for families to work on together. Some of her favorite materials to use are sprigs of cedar, for appearance as well as scent; berries; a big bow; and a string of battery-powered lights. Other materials needed include a roll of wire, or “sticks” of wire, wire cutters and a metal ring for the base. Twigs of pine and green pine straw also provide a nice scent and are readily available. The Posey Patch Flower Farm is one source for materials, with stems available by the bunch for people to purchase if they want, as well as completed wreaths for those who prefer not to make their own.

“Even a basic wreath, with or without a bow on top, is quite attractive,” Bolton said. “It’s all a matter of preference and what materials you have available. It can be as simple or as complex as you want, and it works well for indoors or outdoors. Even trimmed bits from a Christmas tree can be used, if they are green.”

Bolton said a lot of people like to include magnolia leaves “because they are beautiful and easy to find. Another good option is pinecones,” she added. “If using natural flowers, dried flowers are best. Silk flowers are a good alternative. Lots of things can be used as decorative accents to make the design even more interesting. If pulling sprigs off a tree, try to avoid the lower, newer pieces because new growth tends to be ‘pokey.’ Reach for the older, less-sharp green pieces instead.”

BASIC DIY WREATH STEPS

Step 1: Cut a length of wire and wrap it in and out all around the center area on the top of the metal ring, twisting it as needed to secure it in place. A basic “sun” design of triangles provides a good foundation for the rest of the wreath.

Step 2: Add the greenery. Weave the sprigs in and out around the frame and secure them by twisting the wire around as needed. After the initial layer is secured, weave in more greenery, making sure to lay the second layer on top of the first, overlapping to provide a fuller design. This technique also helps improve the appearance if using sprigs that are smaller than desired. Keep securing with additional wire, twisting it around to hold pieces in place.

Step 3: Get the branches and cut them to the desired size. Assemble pinecones and other such items as desired to include as needed. Add them to the wreath. Include colorful berries, if available.

Step 4: Once the wreath is completed, check for any elements that maybe didn’t come out quite right. Cut them off and add in some new pieces. This is something that can be done in the coming days and weeks to keep the wreath looking fresh even longer, too.

Step 5: Spritz the wreath with water every couple of days – whenever it’s looking “droopy or dry.” Frequency depends on whether the wreath is indoors or outdoors and how hot or cold it is. Heat and dry air will cause the greenery to go bad faster, so indoor wreaths are likely to need spritzing more frequently.

Bolton encouraged wreath-makers to remember to have fun along the way.

Another seasonal décor option, in addition to a wreath, is to bring in a small spruce tree – from one’s own property if available or purchased from a local garden center – and decorate it with battery-operated lights, berries and bows.

The Posey Patch Flower Farm is located at 5588 Highway 63 in Russellville. Find out more via Facebook, Instagram, at 256-412-3510 or at www.poseypatchfarm.com.

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