My grandmother taught me that the simplest of holiday wreathes were the BEST holiday wreathes!

Every December my mormor and I would take the bus into Oslo to go to the flower market to get holiday decorations. She bought the same wreath from the same little old lady every year. It was a simple green holiday wreath. I always asked her why she wanted it so simple, and she said "simple is always best".

And she was right.

To this day nothing makes me happier then seeing a fresh green wreath on a door. I went upstate for recently and made this simple wreath from greens I clipped outside.  And it's simple.  And it's the best.

God Jul, Mormor!

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Ahh, sweet summer is here and with it the glorious arrival of a everyone’s favorite flower – the peony!


With its spectacular display of colors (think pink, red, yellow and white!), lush, unbridled petals, and a delicate, intoxicating fragrance, it’s no surprise that the peony has been a delighting the senses for thousands of years. In fact, written records from as far back as 8 their enchanting beauty. Is it any wonder then that the peony is known the world over as “queen of the flowers?”


Today, peonies are just as stunning as ever and, thanks to new and improved varieties they're even easier to grow. There are three main types of peonies to consider when planting. The most common and widely available is the herbaceous peony (Paeonia lactiflora). Herbaceous peonies grow to about three feet tall, die back to the ground each winter, then sends up vigorous sprouts each spring. The other is the tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa), a slow-growing woody-stemmed shrub that can reach up to six feet. The third is a hybrid of the two. A combination of all three makes for a spring garden that darn near looks like it jumped out of a painting.


As dazzling as peonies are, they’re surprisingly no-fuss and require very little attention (I’m talking to you, brown-thumbs!) They survive the harshest winters, are practically drought resistant, and aren't bothered by deer or rabbits. Though peonies fare best in cool climates, early-blooming varieties with low-chill requirements can thrive in even some parts of the deep South.



You will need:
straw or metal wreath form
scissors & wire cutters
thin metal florist's wire
greens - I'm using pine, but you can use boxwood or other greenery
  1. Start by securing the wire to the wreath at one point along the frame.
  2. Make small bouquets of your material. Small neat bouquets will make a tight neat wreath while larger and more loose bouquets will make a more "wild" wreath. I like 'em wild!
  3. Start by securing one bouquet to the wreath by twisting the wire around the wreath tightly 3 times. I always point one bouquet towards the center of the wreath and one towards the outside. This way I cover the whole area.
  4. work you way thought the whole wreath doing the same thing. Avoid the urge to make bigger and bigger bouquets just to make it go faster, try to make them all the same size.
  5. Once you reach where you started, lift up the first sprigs and place another bouquet and gently secure with the wire.
  6. To hang you simply make a loop on the back with the wire and use it to hang the wreath on a nail or with ribbon.


Photography by Paul "Sweet Paul" Lowe

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