How to make a Christmas wreath

PUBLISHED: 13:14 18 December 2013 | UPDATED: 13:14 18 December 2013

Make a Christmas wreath

Make a Christmas wreath


Garden designer Jo Arnell, who holds seasonal workshops at her home near Woodchurch, shows you how

An interest in gardening 
grew out of a fascination since childhood for the wildlife in the garden and 
led to Jo Arnell training in horticulture and garden design.

“As a gardener you want to improve 
the way the garden appears, to tweak 
and control the plants, but in the end 
the inspiration has to come from nature, where it’s all done much better,” says Jo.

“Some of the most serendipitous 
effects will appear in your garden if 
you’ll let them. I love that flowers are 
there to impress the insects, that we 
are just incidental to the whole thing.”

Alongside working as a garden designer, Jo holds creative workshops on gardening topics at her home near Woodchurch or 
at your own venue for groups of six or more. At Christmas she does workshops 
on seasonal decorations and wreaths.

“I’m more of a garden designer than 
a florist, and use my knowledge of plants and how they will perform through the seasons to create borders with year-round interest,” she explains.

“With flower arranging I try to go for a natural look, using plants gathered from the garden and hedgerows.

Jo’s lovely naturalistic wreath beautifully demonstrates her philosophy, and you can adapt it to the material you have available.


• Wire wreath frame

• Fine florist’s wire

• Viburnum foliage, or other evergreen

• Honesty seedpods

• Alder twigs with catkins and cones

• Snowberries

• Teasel seed heads

• Ribbon


1. Cut viburnum to sprigs with stem and 7 or so leaves

2. Attach wire to frame

3. Wire on the viburnum foliage, working around wreath

4. Attach alder twigs

5. Attach honesty

6. Add in some snowberries

7. Wire in teasels

8. Attach a ribbon

9. Tie in some wire at back to attach to the door

Tips to know

• Lush and glossy evergreens should be picked and made as close to Christmas as possible

• Mist wreath twice a day

• Skeletal forms and tracery of stems and seed heads make delicate and understated decorations that last really well and can be picked weeks in advance

• Other plants to try – ivy, eucalyptus, laurel, bay, osmanthus, euonymus, physalis, echinops, spindle, rowan, pyracantha, hydrangeas

• Remember to leave some seed heads and berries for the birds, don’t pick it all


Jo Arnell

Hornbrook Manor Farm

01233 861186 or

Garden consultations, border design and planting schemes, courses and workshops

Bespoke Christmas decoration workshops can be arranged, minimum six people, £25 per person, £20 for groups of seven-plus. Swags and wreaths can also be ordered.


Jo is offering Kent Life readers a free border design with any consultation booked by February 2014, plus 10 per cent off her Christmas Workshops or ordered wreaths: quote KENT LIFE at the time of booking.

December in the garden

Jobs to be done (pic17)

• Prune and renovate deciduous shrubs, use some coloured stems in your decorations, such as cornus and willow

• Clean pots, tools and labels, repair furniture and maintain paths

• Add a water butt to collect winter rain

• Dig over beds and incorporate organic matter

• Check stored fruit and remove anything with a sign of rotting

Plant of the month

Callicarpa, beauty berry (pic18)

• bead- like purple berries

• brings colour to the winter garden

• berries hold well on cut stems in floral arrangements

• deciduous shrub

Growing notes

• hardy

• well-drained soil

• full sun to light shade

• conditions that are too alkaline will cause leaf yellowing

• berries from autumn, through winter

• plant seeds from September to May

More from Homes & Gardens

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Gardens across the county and beyond are offering virtual garden visits. So take a step into some of Kent’s most enchanting gardens from cottages to country estates with these virtual tours

Read more
Monday, November 16, 2020

A new concept in property management is sweeping the country, yielding benefits to property owners in the short-term let and holiday let markets.

Read more
Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Balmoral Cottage in Benenden showcases how topiary can create a fantasy landscape in talented hands | Words: Leigh Clapp - Photos: Leigh Clapp

Read more
Monday, September 14, 2020

If you are nearing retirement age, you may be thinking about downsizing and pursuing a simpler lifestyle. Marie Hanby – marketing manager at Serenity Parks – tells us the key benefits of living in a retirement village such as Serenity’s Kingsdown Meadow in Sevenoaks.

Read more
Monday, July 27, 2020

Thinking of moving to or within Kent? Every month we pick three stunning houses for sale that we’re sure you’ll love

Read more
Wednesday, June 17, 2020

George and James Architects discuss how engaging their services can add value to your property in more ways than one.

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Latest from the Kent Life