Wreaths are much more than a circle of flowers or evergreens. They date back to ancient times. Greece, Persia and Rome were among many countries that worshipped evergreens such as laurel or holly – believing them to represent immortality.
Even today symbolism is still very much in evidence. The circular shape of both Christmas and sympathy wreaths could represent the circle of life as the ring has no beginning or end, it could even represent God’s never ending love. And evergreens used in winter were often thought to signify the birth of new life as trees begin to grow again and flowers start to appear.
Certainly decorating wreaths goes back centuries when the Romans used wreaths placed on doors to identify their houses – just as we would use a name or a number.
These days we usually see them at Christmas time, beautiful evergreens decorating a front door, or as a sympathy tribute of gloriously coloured flowers.
Types of Wreath
A mossed wreath is ideal as a Christmas decoration. In the UK moss is protected and can’t be taken from its natural habitat without a licence. It can only be supplied through a registered supplier.
The moss mainly used is sphagnum moss. It usually comes in bags and should be fresh and moist. Other moss used is Reindeer or lichen moss.
Floral Foam Wreaths
These days many florists use floral foam wreaths supplied by the wholesalers as mossing a wreath is very time consuming. Certainly they create a nice solid shape to work from, particularly in funeral work.
Creating a Christmas Mossed Wreath
Materials (all these are available from the wholesalers)
Blue spruce or other evergreen; damp moss; 12 inch wire frame; a reel of wire; wreath wrap; stub wires; German pins; feathers; beads; baubles; door hook.
- Lay out all your materials and clean the moss by removing any twigs, stones etc. Make sure the moss is sufficiently damp before gently teasing the moss apart
- Attach some reel wire to your wire frame. Roll a handful of moss into a tight “sausage shape” and place this on the wired frame, packing it in tightly
- Using the reel of wire, wire the moss to the frame. Repeat until the frame is completely covered. Ensure the moss is always tightly packed in while doing this. Once you have wired round once repeat the wiring again
- The shape of the wreath should be even, so trim away any loose bits of moss for a good finish
- Anchor the end of the reel wire into the firm moss
- Double wire your fern pieces and start anchoring them in the side and top of the wreath until it is fully covered. Always ensure that the foliage is securely anchored into the moss and wire frame
- Using the wreath, wrap back the other side of the wreath. Stretch the wrap over the frame anchoring with the German pins as you go.
- Decorate your wreath by wiring any decorations. I used feathers, beads and baubles and then wired them into the frame but you can use anything festive.
Creating a Floral Foam Sympathy Wreath
Circular floral foam ring; five carnations; bunch spray carnations; leather leaf; gypsophilia; soft ruscus.
- Lay out all your materials and clean and cut to size
- Round off the edge of the floral foam and briefly soak. Do not over soak as this could lead to the arrangement dripping everywhere
- Insert the leather leaf at a downward angle starting at the base on the outside and then on the inside
- Place the carnations in and these should have the longest stems
- Space them equally around the base
- Add in the spray carnations between the carnations
- Add the gypsophilia and ruscus equally between spray carnations and carnations. Check there are no gaps from any angle as not only will this tribute be looked at from above but also from the sides. If there are any gaps, fill in with foliage.