Earlier today, ‘Selfie’ was named Word of the Year by the Oxford Dictionaries.  It brought to mind an earlier Word of the Year back in 2005 coined by Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report: truthiness.

Truthiness  is “the quality of stating concepts one wishes or believes to be true, rather than the facts.”  That is how I feel about my garden wreath.

In concept I wish it were beautiful.  If  you look at a small corner of  the wreath it’s pretty.

wreath detail

Closeups are deceiving

If I was going for truthiness I could call it a day.  Alas,  I’m a gardener that likes to keep it real.

The wreath had potential:

  • A  sturdy, but unobtrusive green metal base from a craft store
  • Lovely hydrangeas, dried to a soft purple gray
  • Long strands of velvety, purple sage
  • Snippets of lavender here and there
  • Bits of ribbon and a hair pin, no longer in use.

I wrapped strands of  sage along the edges of the wreath, then placed three hydrangeas in a loose triangle.  I added a small ribbon and a hair pin.  It just wasn’t enough.  I gathered lavender and added sprigs of that, then hung the wreath on the door, scattering dried flowers  as I went.

The wreath lacks volume.  Adding lavender made it smell nice, but it didn’t really help my cause.  Every time I tried to ‘fluff it up,’ I made it worse. I found a few more hydrangeas, smaller and still green.  Still not enough.  Now I have dried petals all over the front porch. They continue to drop  every time I close the door.

wreath of shame

Wreath of shame

balding wreath

Balding wreath

So, crafty friends, what’s a gardener to do?  Should I hide my wreath of shame?  I ordered a Christmas wreath from the local Boy Scouts.  Maybe I should just wait for it to arrive.

Is there still hope for my garden wreath?

Suggestions welcome in the comments below.

25 thoughts on “Wreathiness

  1. Well, you said to comment, so here we go – Miss Opinionated Crafter at your service 🙂 Just this very morning i was discussing my art work with a friend and related how something Jane Davenport once said made a big impression on me and changed the way I viewed my creations.

    Jane said [and I paraphrase] ‘Every creation goes through an ugly stage. Do not be put off, do not throw it out, do not walk away. Keep working at it until it becomes beautiful again’.

    Not that I’m calling your wreath ugly – it isn’t. It is actually really pretty, and while still in development, shows enormous potential – it just needs more.

    Which brings me to my second great life lesson – if a little is good, a lot is better 🙂 Bling it up Alys, bling it up!

    Add in some mesh, some lace, some pretend fruit – go dig up some of those nuts those pesky squirrels keep hiding in your garden and string them together and wrap ’em round – failing that go for popcorn spray painted your favourite colour….. If there is nothing to be had from the garden, then raid the pantry, the bathroom, the closet, your crafty stash – find the colours of lavender and those gorgeous dusky pinks and greys and silvers ……

    It’s okay to mix real and pretend – leaves, flowers, fruit – a butterfly or gecko or something along those lines – of the not-real variety of course –

    It is almost there don’t give up now 🙂

    Can’t wait to see what your other lovely ladies have to say – can’t wait to see what you might end up with too.

    Have fun xoxo


    • That was great reading. You are both encouraging and fun.

      You’ve given me a lot to think about, too. Today I remembered a beautiful glass hummingbird, a gift from a friend this time last year. He’ll be a perfect addition, assuming I can attach securely.

      I would never have thought to spray paint popcorn!

      I like your motto…a little is good, a lot is better. I’m encouraged to keep going. Thanks so much for that.

      Stay tuned…


  2. mmmmmm…I would say you’ve got a lot of beautiful dried flowers but need a sturdier base to build upon. I especially love the hair pin, it’s a pretty detail and unexpected 😀 I also like that you used a loose triangle in your design. The rule of three always works best for arranging flowers. It’s going to be so awesome and I bet it smells really wonderful too.

    Do you have any thin gage wire? Here’s what a florist might do.
    – Take everything off and sort.
    – Spray Hydrangea with a bit of hair spray to lesson shedding.
    – make three mixed posies with your remaining dried flowers by wrapping stems with a bit of
    wire. Vary the sizes (S, M, L). Leave a length of wire to make a small loop.
    – Now, stuff the entire wreath with green sheet moss. Available from gardening stores. Winding thin wire around the wreath as you go. You hardly see it with the moss.
    (it will look like this http://www.pinterest.com/pin/138837600986462746/

    Florist hold things in place with straight pins (they look like an upside-down U ) You can attach your small posies to the moss wreath with a couple of pins thru the loop and even over the branches. You just squeeze the pins almost closed and let go once they’re in the wreath. They spread out and stay. Just like when you’re doing hair.

    Hope I haven’t prattled on because this seems really long. Have fun! I can’t wait to see. xox


    • Wow! WOW!!!

      Thanks for this amazing advice and guidance. I had forgotten about your years working in Adele’s flower shop. I learned so much from this post.

      I would never have thought to use hairspray to hold things in place. That is inspired.

      I was walking around Michael’s today, but couldn’t figure out what sheet moss was. I did by some moss in a grey color to (hopefully) compliment what I’ve got. I picked up some wire as well, but couldn’t find the u pins your mention. I’ll do a Google search and see what I come up with.

      I really appreciate your suggestions. I’m getting lots of support and ideas here.


  3. Yep, go for it, bling it up! When I paint there is often a point where I despair and think “it’s not working!” That’s the time to keep going, as many times it does come together.


    • Thanks, Viv!

      I know this will sound funny, but I’m often afraid of looking at other ideas, fearing it will compromise my own. Does that make sense?

      In other words, I want to learn the techniques, without undue influence on my own creativity or design.


      • Doesn’t sound funny at all – I quite understand – it is sometimes hard to know who originated anything these days design wise. Just keep trying different approaches on your wreath- I like it as it is though – I would certainly hang it on my door!


        • Oh! Thanks so much for saying so and for understanding, too.

          I made a run to the craft store today while doing errands and purchased ribbon and tulle. It also prompted another idea. Stay tuned. The feedback has been amazing.


  4. Your wreath attempt was noble. It is pretty to me. Don’t be so hard on yourself!

    Love, Tami

    P.S. we should get our trip to Barbara’s new house on the calendar. Maybe some time in March? A three day weekend would be fun!


  5. Pingback: Garden Wreath Redux | gardeningnirvana

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