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Hang up a harvest wreath.

You make it with leaves and fruits from the garden or the grocery store

HARVEST WREATHS MADE FROM FALL'S RICHLY colored foliage, fruits, and seed pods are easy to make yet enduring in their beauty. Unlike dried flower wreaths that require planning and preparation, these go together easily and quickly with materials mostly from the garden. In just a few hours of collecting and arranging, you can have an elegant wall or door decoration to welcome Thanksgiving guests.

The three wreaths illustrate some of the plentiful decorative material in gardens this season. They combine a good amount of foliage with colorful accents like rose hips, toyon berries, and liquidambar fruits. If your garden's short on berries, fruits, and seed pods, you can buy dried baby corn, lady apples, pomegranates, or miniature pumpkins at the grocery store to use as accents.

To make a basic 12-inch wreath, you'll need a foam plastic base (available at craft and floral supply stores for about $3), plant material (enough to fill two large grocery bags), hairpins to secure plants to the wreath base, and a piece of flexible wire to attach to the foam for hanging the wreath. Use tacky glue to attach stemless dried items, like the pomegranates, to your finished wreath. Use floral picks with attached wire to hold stems of fresh fruit; the pointed end slides into the wreath base.

To start, attach the wire hanger to the wreath base. Next, generously cover the base with foliage; secure large individual leaves like magnolias first, then add wispy-stemmed prunings like leptospermum, or clusters of thin-stemmed leaves and berries. Work in one direction around the base from the inside the wreath outward, or from the outside in. For a loose, informal look, mix textures, forms, and colors. When the wreath is covered, use more hairpins, glue, or floral picks to add color accents. Use heavier objects like the miniature pumpkins fresh fruit sparingly as focal points. Let the glue set before hanging the wreath.

As the wreath ages, fresh leaves, berries, and rose hips will change form and color. Seed pods may open as they dry, some plants may become brittle. Although the wreath will last for several months, if you're decorating for a special event or for gift giving, make it just a day or two before its debut to ensure it looks its best.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Ocone, Lynn
Publication:Sunset
Date:Nov 1, 1992
Words:393
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