Gather Round The Holidays


 Paper flowers. Design by Que Bonita Furniture.

Assorted Succulents. Design by Mesquite Valley Growers Nursery.

Rosemary, privet berries, and limequats. Design by Debby Larsen, Tucson Lifestyle Home & Garden.

Grapevine, olive branches, roses, and pomegranites. Design by Elaine Taylor Fine Flowers.





Gather ’Round the Holidays

Wreaths are a frequent sight around town this month, but not all wreaths consist of evergreen fir branches, pinecones and holly.

Photos by Robin Stancliff

Want your front door to look festive? You might consider adding a wreath. Although ingredients vary, the shape is familiar to all. The word wreath comes the Old English wrethe, meaning a band or something twisted in a circular form.

Many historians date these decorations back to the Ancient Persians, Romans and Greeks. A large number of them were made with specific meanings. In Greece, bay laurel wreaths — symbols of victory — became crowns for Olympic winners and military heroes. Wreaths also were part of ceremonial events in many other cultures around the globe.

The practice of displaying wreaths grew in popularity along with Christian celebrations. Coniferous evergreen trees were
used to convey strength.

In Europe, wreaths were displayed on doors to identify the occupants, similar to a family crest. Items from their individual gardens, such as grapevines, leaves, flowers or produce were added. Creating a wreath often was a family affair.

In Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, during the holidays wreaths often were made of natural materials, such as boxwood branches, and were frequently embellished with a pineapple — the symbol of hospitality of that era.

Today, making wreaths is a wonderful social activity for family and friends, and still has a regional spirit.

In the South, holiday wreaths created from the abundant magnolia leaves are commonly found.

A wreath also can be used as part of the table décor, often adorned with candles for the Advent season.

Here in the Southwest, wreaths can be fashioned from corn husks, chile peppers, eucalyptus leaves, rosemary, privet berries, olive branches, pomegranate, citrus fruit, and even prickly pear pads (for the more adventurous). Long-lasting succulents can be planted to form a living wreath. HG