Early morning and wisps of river fog creep across the fields. The brilliant summer sky pales into autumn. In the garden the hydrangeas change colour.  Vintage verdigris.   Bruised blues and purples. Faded lavenders and pinks. It is now when the hydrangea   blossoms take on the rich colours of a renaissance painting I gather them by the armful. They dry beautifully.   Tucked away from the light they wait to play the part in the familiar  rituals of Christmas decorating.

 This Christmas will be unlike any other.   This year I  planned something completely different from my  traditional  decorative wreath.  I wanted to take the beautiful days of summer and hang them on our front door.  This year these summer memories will adorn our home far into the new year.

starting the TT

These wreaths are wondrously  easy to make.   You need a vine wreath.  A vine wreath is important as the tangle of vines allows you to easily poke the hydrangea stems into place.   The stems of  the flowers cut around 6 inches.  A generous armful of flower  and a few  sprigs of cedar or fir boughs and ribbon  is all you require.  No glue or wire required to fasten the flowers.

For a lush, generous wreath tuck the blooms into the sides of the wreath and then on the top.  Intersperse them with the green cedar boughs.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  There is no right or wrong way to arrange your flowers.

You can hang the wreath plain and unadorned.  But the colours of the wire ribbon are an elegant touch.  It takes  about an hour to make a wreath.  I always make two wreaths at Christmas.  One for our door and one for my friend and neighbour.   

Stay safe dear friends – wherever you are.

Love Virginia.










  1. These wreaths are gorgeous! Certainly on my list for next year. Alas, I don’t have any hydrangea in the rental garden I’ve cultivated, but folks all around us cut them off and throw them away at season’s end, so I’ll ask them for some. Foraging in gardens and woods is a wonderful way to create holiday decor. This year I haven’t spent a penny on our front holiday pots. We’ve walked every day this fall in different woods and I’ve picked up fallen birch, red osier, pine, and spruce branches. But I’ve not made a wreath! Inspired by yours, that’s next on my list! Have beautiful holidays, my friend!

    • Dearest Gayle, You are a woman after my own heart. Gathering from nature is the very, very best way to decorate this Christmas. And spending this time outside instead of crowded malls is so much better for our soul and our health. If you spot any dried faded hydrangeas on your walks they would also make a lovely wreath. Faded glory with a little bit of velvet ribbon. Oh Joy. Stay safe. Happy holidays. Viarginia

    • Dellis dear friend. You shared your Easter decor of small potted hydrangea with me. They grew to magnificent hydrangeas gracing my front garden. They were adored by all traveled on our country road. I shared the blooms with friends and neighbors and now I share them with all my friends who visit Bel”Occhio. Thank you Dellis.

  2. Your wreaths are simply beautiful! Thank you for sharing. Alas, we no longer have hydrangeas to enjoy in our garden, only rhododendrons. Perhaps we will have to plan for some in our new garden.

    • We do so love our hydrangeas dear Andrea. When you plan your new garden I think it would be a splendid idea if one of hydrangeas made a trip across the ocean and into your garden. XXXXOOO Virginia

    • Every Christmas I make new wreaths for myself and my friend and next door neighbor. We live on a farm and I shop our garden, the fields and the roads around our home. I am so happy that you find my blog and I look forward to hearing from you againl. Happy holidays and happy wreath making. Cheers Virginia

    • Reason, dear girl. The weather was changing. Frost in the forecast. The hydrangea were changing colour. A few deep blue turning to a magnificent braised wine. Others faded from summer blue to a delicate pinkish beige. I started cutting them and kept on cutting until every pail and jug were filled. More than I could possibly use in the house. That’s when I had the idea to turn them into wreaths. The bigger the better. Not exactly Christmas colours but I didn’t care. They were too dutiful to languish in the garage. The wreaths have continued to change Now they are a wispy creamy beige and still beautiful.

    • Dearest Resa. Nothing like breaking from the traditional to find you can hang heaven on your door. Frost was in the forecast so I plundered the hydrangea plants and filled every pot and pail in the garage with flowers. Too many for indoor arrangements so I thought – Christmas wreaths. It was sheer joy to create these little darlings. So easy and so rewarding.

      Big hugs and a million wishes for a happy holiday and a much better new year. Virginia

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