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

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