2003 Wreath

2004 Wreath

2004 Wreath closeup

I am a wreath person. There is a large wreath on the front of the house all year, one for each season, one for each holiday. I search for the perfect elements for a wreath for each occasion and once it's found, it generally is never replaced. At long last, after many trials, including funky fabrics, itsy bitsy spiders, fake webbing and pumpkins, I found the absolutely ultimate Halloween wreath.

I trimmed up the clematis and discovered the heavier vines make the most perfect wreaths! It also makes incredible heart shaped wreaths or Valentine's Day. Eight wreaths later, I was too tired to remove the leaves off the last one I had just finished, hung it up and went in thinking I would remove the leaves later. Well, as things often go, two days later I remembered the wreath. It was incredible! It had already started to turn brown, all the leaves hung down and I left it just so. What better wreath for Halloween than a wreath of dead plants????

Later, any stable dead flower in the yard was slowly added and it evolved from there. The flowers that are spectacular (and hold together after they are dried) are:

Butterfly bush (excellent full shaft of flowers)
Daylily stems (usually have little forked ends)
Dusty Miller flower clusters, and stems without the flowers
Eucalyptus pods
Fern, dead leaves, all types
Fever few (small dead flowers)
Flowering Maple seed pods
Hydrangea, especially oak leaf hygrangea, (excellent)
Japanese Aralia (gargantious flower clusters)
Lamb's ears shafts
Privet berries, dead and dried groups
Red Bud Tree (thin long brown seed pods)
Roses, dark coloured
Salvia Clevelandii (excellent flower stalks)
Sunflowers, small erheads and big icky dead leaves
Tansy (small dead flowers)
Verbena (small dead flowers)
Violet trumpet vine (really weird fat prickly pods)
Interesting sticks of all kinds, especially weirdly shaped

Wysteria and Violet Trumpet vine pods are great central attractions. Don't forget all the specialty dried flowers, as long as they dry brownish. I am experimenting with dusty miller and a few others. I have a crop of small dead sunflowers waiting to be added, and basil flower shafts are superb but I rarely let them seed.

Next time you are trimming dead plants from your yard, stop and think (besides, peering at the plant and thinking, "Does this contain SEEDS?") dry it and save it for your wreath. Keep a eye open for weird looking things, even weeds! You can always throw it away later if it shatters.

Start with a wreath (in spring if you make it, any time if you buy it) and hang it in the yard out of the wind. Add, add, add. Add dead leaves all around and flowers traditonally or any way you like. I have contemplated a black bow but prefer the flat dead appearance instead.

Hang it up until Halloween in your heaviest cobweb area, even if it is the carport. Let time and nature do its thing.

Admittedly, it is a fragile wreath, but mine hangs in the backyard all the year collecting cobwebs, and is replenished or rebuilt every year if the need arises.

If you enjoyed this idea, I would love to know! Anne

The Wicked Witch on Twenty First Street

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