Uninspired by the tedium of the traditional Christmas wreath formed from berried holly and battered pine cones, Lucy and Flo embarked on a quest to enliven front doors across the Weald this festive season. Rather than coming up with something completely radical, they decided to work with what they already had to create this simple and striking design. Despite the lack of cones and faux snow, the trusty holly remains and has been enlivened with the addition of speckled laurel. Bright colour has been introduced in the form of red and orange peppers, giant chillies, fragrant limes, exotic physalis and wires of jewelled cranberries, finished off with a generous wired-ribbon bow.
You will need: ? secateurs ? gardening gloves ? florist's wire ? holly & laurel cuttings (or other garden foliage) ? peppers ? physalis ? chillis ? cranberries ? limes ? 1.5 metres ribbon
1. Start by threading the cranberries onto lengths of florist's wire. You will need around 5 lengths, one for every lime that you plan to use on your wreath.
2. Repeat the process with the limes, making sure the wire runs completely through, about three quarters of the way down each lime. Wire the chillies and group into threes. Wiring each group of three together.
3. Form a rough circle using two larger branches of holly and wire together securely. You may need to do this in several places along their lengths.
4. Wearing gardening gloves, continue to build up the wreath through winding and securing more and more holly over the frame. Wire through the tips of laurel branches at regular intervals.
5. Attach the wired limes securely to the forming wreath.
6. Form the cranberry wires into a loop around the limes and secure with wire.
7. Add, evenly spaced, the peppers and chillies. Wire the physalis and secure intermittently onto the wreath. Finish with a large bow in the ribbon of your choice. The fruit and vegetables that we have used to make our wreath are only one of hundreds of combinations of bright and fresh produce that you could use. Try experimenting with other garden foliage, herbs, ferns and twigs to make a generous base, and attach nuts, foraged winter berries or clove-studded kumquats. Making your own wreath need not be an expensive undertaking. All the base components of ours were foraged from the garden and the fruit and veg is all available in local supermarkets and farmers' markets. Have fun expressing your own personality, and don't be afraid of adding some whacky and unorthodox statement pieces.