Wreaths – an Outward and Visible Sign of the Season

grapefruitwreathFrasier Fir, boxwood, magnolia, grapevine – all traditional bases for wreaths. We can pick them up at garden centers and Christmas tree vendors and even grocery stores, but sometimes it is fun to spice up ye olde wreath with some seasonal flair.

In December’s issue of Southern Living, I took some traditional wreaths up a notch or two to festively deck our halls, doors, windows and tables with versions of wreaths donned with a bit of Holiday zest.

Rosemary and grapefruit – two of this Farmer’s favorites! From their scents to their colors and flavors, the combo of these two can be appealing to many of the senses. Sliced grapefruit and Meyer lemons combined with Savannah holly foliage and berries on a boxwood wreath is garden glam at its best!

Add fresh cut red roses in varying shades and sizes for a boost of elegance and fragrance. The jewel tones of the fruit and flowers on the deep green base are luscious!

Keeping it green – a basic Frasier Fir wreath spiked with artichokes, ivy and pine sets a green theme for this updated wreath. Pine cones and pheasant feathers ground the greens with earthy browns and textures that complement as well. The tapestry of greens in various hues, tints, shades, and textures makes this wreath at home in your home all through the holidays and even into winter! With the absence of holiday sparks such as red, this wreath is soothing yet warm for the coming winter months.


Magnificent Magnolia – Magnolia wreaths are probably my favorite in their sheer simplicity and versatility. Magnolia is a year-round décor element in my opinion and Christmas may be the swan song of this Southern staple’s regimen. Burford holly berries and Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) snuggle into the broad leaves of this magnolia wreath. Textural complements of the fine Cryptomeria foliage and the magnolia is striking and the bold red berries of the holly punctuate the wreath with some of the season’s best. This wreath is easily made from the trappings of many Southern gardens, for magnolia, Cryptomeria and Burford holly abound.


Cinnamon Twist – Taking a good ol’ grapevine wreath and weaving in some fantastic foliage is an easy way to boost this simple form from drab to fab! Eucalyptus, rosemary, magnolia leaves and sliced Meyer lemons all intertwine the grapevine. A bow of cinnamon sticks further enhances the amazing aroma this wreath boasts and picks up on the color of the magnolia leaves backing. Another wreath well suited for not only the holidays, this wreath can celebrate the winter season, for citrus is a Southern winter crop, rosemary is evergreen in the Deep South and eucalyptus can be found growing in many a Southern garden. If your garden isn’t growing deep in Dixieland, then your florists and craft shop should have all these same elements.


Take a traditional wreath and jazz it up. Remember this Farmer’s “Three F’s” to making an arrangement fabulous – fruit, flowers, and foliage. A fourth “F” of “feathers” never hurts either! These wreaths are apropos all through the holidays and even into January. From the vow’s Granddaddy uses when performing wedding ceremonies, “the ring is an outward and visible sign of…” May these wreaths be your outward, visible sign of the holiday season! From this Farmer’s garden to yours, Merry Christmas and happiest of holidays to you and yours!


James T. Farmer III was born and raised in Georgia, where he continues to live and work as a landscape designer. He shares his love of food, flowers and photography on his blog All Things Farmer.