Garden plundering for a Christmas wreath

There is little to do in the garden in December except to cut back perennials that have lost their autumn glow and dig borders and vegetable patches ready for next year.

So if you are in need of a gardening fix, why not make your own Christmas?wreath?using evergreen foliage and berries from your own garden??You could go all modern and try something similar to the Brussels sprouts wreath concocted by the online gardening people, who also offer a jaunty Vegetarian Christmas Dinner Wreath that features other vegetables.

Dobbies, the Edinburgh-based garden centre business now part of the Tesco Group, is also offering modern takes on the?Christmas wreath?featuring silk lilies and imitation gold roses. But for those who want something really personal, your best bet is to buy a plain green wreath from your local market or garden centre and decorate it in your own style. You also need to buy some lightweight floral wire from the garden centre or a craft shop and collect holly, ivy and?mistletoe?for a traditional Christmas look.

If you want a bit of variety you could also use rose stems with a bunch of orange or red hips attached or a clump of rowan berries. And although not quite so user friendly because of the thorns, you could incorporate a strand or two of Berberis darwinii or Pyracantha ? known by some as firethorn. Ribbons, tinsel or a few non-breakable baubles would complete the look, or you could go for a more natural style with fir cones and dried orange slices ? which you can buy from some garden centres.

Tie the stems of holly or rosehips etc into the wreath using the floral wire, which should be thin enough for you to snip off with?kitchen?scissors. If you want to add fir cones cut off a piece of wire about 6-10 inches long (15-25cm) wrap one end around the cone near its base then secure it to the wreath with the rest of the wire.

For dried orange slices, poke the wire through the orange near the rind and loop round, then tie it into the wreath with the wire. Similarly, you can attach a length of wire to a bow and wrap the wire round the wreath, and to baubles or any other?decoration?you choose. Make sure there is a loop on the back of the wreath to hang it from a nail on your door, then you can let the spirit of?Christmas?into your home!

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