Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014


Have you noticed that art, like music, is mostly mathematical? 

As you scratch even a tiny bit below the surface of either discipline, you find yourself awash in numbers, fractions, ratios, and the metronome ticking of constant counting.

Take this beautiful wreath, for instance, hanging now in Colonial Williamsburg. 



December 3, 2014 CW wreathes 152


At first glance, you might register the color and complexity of design.    But if you take a deep breath, and hold your focus on the details for a few moments, the “3s” begin to pop out at you.

How many sets of “3” can you find?



December 3, 2014 CW wreathes 151


I only mention this in the hopes of getting your own creative juices flowing a bit. 

(You see, I can count on my fingers those blogging friends who have suggested they might send me a photo of a wreath they’ve made, or a link to their own post about making a wreath.)



December 3, 2014 CW wreathes 150


Until you’ve made one, it looks hopelessly complicated.  That is how I felt when facing my first dress pattern and yards of cloth back in Jr. High school!

But step by step, bit by bit, making a wreath like this isn’t as complex as it might appear.

Yes, you can do it, too!

Do you notice that there are three artichokes, three lotus pods, and three groups of  three oranges?  There are four pomegranates, just to throw us off a little, and five pine cones. The wreath is worked in only five colors:  green, red, orange, brown, yellow, and cream.

This wreath is composed from fruits, vegetables, dried flowers, pine cones, lotus pods, and evergreen branches.  It could be made on a straw, Styrofoam, or wire wreath base.  Any of the three would work, but Styrofoam would be the easiest to use.


A similiar design hanging a ways down Francis St. from the first.

A similiar design hanging on Duke of Gloucester Street.   Drumsticks and Cinnamon sticks ornament this wreath, made on a grapevine wreath form. The components are attached with light weight florist’s wire and floral “picks,” and possibly hot glue.  Did you notice the three pomegranates, three artichokes, and three groups of three oranges?  See the triangles formed in the design? The color scheme is basically the same as the first wreath.


Once you had all of the components assembled, it would take you less than an hour to pull this wreath together.

When working with a wire wreath base, thin, flexible wire is first attached to all of the components, and then those wires are twisted onto the base.  You would attach the branches first, then the large cones and fruits, finishing off with bunches of dried flowers to fill in the bare spots.  Small wooden skewers, already attached to thin wire (florist picks) are used to wire the artichokes, pomegranates, and oranges to the wire base.

This lovely wreath features mostly dried flowers and seed pods.  You could make this easily with a hot glue gun.

This lovely wreath features mostly dried flowers and seed pods on a grapevine base.  The green comes from dried hops.  You could easily make this with just  a hot glue gun.



I prefer working on straw bases or Styrofoam.  I use long wire “staples” to attach the green branches to the base, and pieces of thin bamboo “shish-kabob” skewers (from the grocery store) to impale the fruits or vegetables and attach them to the base.  Wire little bunches of the dried flowers together, and attach them with the wire staples, too, as the finishing touch.

Some people use hot-glue in the assembly.  This works, too; especially for the light elements of your design.

I’m doing the mental work tonight on two wreathes I plan to construct tomorrow.  If they turn out well, I’ll share photos in a later post. 



December 3, 2014 CW wreathes 034


This fairly unusual wreath we spotted last week on our walk through Colonial Williamsburg inspired my design idea…



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Early December tends to be a creative time of the year for many of us.  We’re decorating, cooking, and maybe even making a few gifts.



This wreath is formed on grapevines and a hollowed out gourd.

This wreath is formed on grapevines and a hollowed out gourd.  Okra pods, berries,  oranges, and dried flowers add color and interest to the design.  This hangs on Francis Street, west of the old Capitol.


We enjoy making things for the coming holidays. 

Actually, the lights and evergreens help distract me from the grey skies, fog, and cold winds this month brings.



December 3, 2014 CW wreathes 035


By focusing on beauty, it makes the wintery reality of December a little easier to endure.

What are you creating this December?

Take whatever comes to hand, and please, make something beautiful!


Colonial Williamsburg, 2014

Colonial Williamsburg, 2014


Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014


Holiday Wreath Challenge 2014


About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

8 responses to “3x3x3

  1. Sets of 3 is the golden rule in flower arranging. But I don’t hesitate to use 1 or 2 when it feels right!

  2. Although it is fairly obvious, these wreaths are made by professional floral designers with years of practice. I want to encourage fellow bloggers that it isn’t the product so much as the process that is the point. It is the creative act that holds great pleasure and one mustn’t measure the end result by comparing to others. The above wreaths are full of inspiration, don’t be daunted by their ‘perfection,’ take the ball and run with it – the fun is in the creation! Show us your fun! 🙂

    • Absolutely! Thank you, Eliza, for making that crucial point!

      Nature is perfect in and of herself. When we use natural materials to express our own creativity, there is bound to be beauty in the result. (and the maker of each of these could show us an “imperfection” here and there on each and every one….)

      It is the fun we have with it- the joy it brings, which is the point. Thank you, Eliza 😉 Hugs, WG

  3. The wreaths from Williamsburg are prettier this year than any other I remember. Although I may think that every year, I’m not sure!

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