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Trend Alert: Winter Wreaths Gone Wild

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Trend Alert: Winter Wreaths Gone Wild

December 1, 2023

Occasionally something stops us in our tracks on Instagram. And so it was on an icy late November evening when we spied Anna Potter’s enormous wreath of dried grasses, hydrangeas, rosehips, and iridescent lunaria seedpods. Destined for a local café in Sheffield where the floral designer’s store, Swallows & Damsons is based, the wreath was a supersize reminder of how effective grasses can be in a festive design.

For Potter, using dried materials in wreaths is an opportunity to create movement and structure. But it also reflects shifting attitudes about the winter garden, in which the dried grasses, exposed seedpods, and faded stems are celebrated rather than consigned to the compost heap. “There’s so much beauty to be found,” says Potter. “Overlooked tangled vines, weathered seed heads and grasses are so wonderful to weave with and can be combined to create unexpectedly ethereal sculptures.”

This new style of everlasting wreath is staging a challenge to traditional foliage and evergreens, replacing fir and holly with burnished golden grasses and wildflowers. Here are a few of our favorites.

Above: Potter’s wreath uses a custom-made 4.5 ft forged steel hoop, which is recycled seasonally as the design and ingredients change. Here, she has used long stems of pampas grass and bear grass to create sculptural, swirling tails and loops. Pennisetum, panicum, as well as different varieties of dried hydrangea add additional texture while hips and lunaria bring contrast. Photograph courtesy of Anna Potter.
Above: Nikki Kuwayama of California-based studio Velvet Curation Co—which sells dried foliage and flowers— uses dried grass to create similar swirls in this wreath design, adding color with branches of asparagus fern, red berries, and dried cress stems. Her asymmetric design is built onto a simple vine base. Photograph courtesy of Nikki Kuwayama.
Above: Kitten Grayson’s Christmas shop has Zingara flower baubles as well as exquisite wreaths, including the pictured Meadow Mountain design. Available in three sizes (from £120), each on a wicker base, the wreath combines delicate bracken fronds with birch twigs, wild clematis, statice, and strawflowers to echo the soft burnished colors of a winter woodland. Photograph by Hana Snow.
Above: Dried flower guru and author of Everlastings Bex Partridge has given her collection of seasonal wreaths enigmatic names, including the “Bones of Winter” and the pictured “Wild Wreath” (both from £75), which uses curling grasses along with nicandra seedheads and dried Ammobium alutum. Partridge has also authored an e-guide to a natural Christmas, downloadable from her online store, Botanical Tales. Photograph courtesy of Bex Partridge.
Above: Gather your wreath materials on a weekend walk. Studio Mim’s wild woodland wreath uses a vine base topped with bracken fronds, wild clematis seedheads, and dried beech leaves along with a contrasting, crumpled silk ribbon. Photograph courtesy of Studio Mim.
Above: Jade Schol is the Wiltshire-based designer behind Arie and Vine’s ethereal installations, including botanical clouds of light-as-feather ferns and wreaths named after Santa’s reindeer. The Comet, pictured, combines bracken with asparagus fern, pampas grass, lunaria, statice, and foraged stems and is finished with velvet and satin ribbons. Photograph courtesy of Jade Schol.

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