Four glorious wreaths

  • Article by: Connie Nelson
  • Star Tribune
  • October 15, 2009 - 11:08 AM

  Materials: Floral designer Vicky Greer started with a back-to-basics balsam wreath, added texture with a variety of greens (white pine, plain and coned cedar) and two kinds of pine cones. For a shot of color, she brought in artificial red berry stems, then tied it all together with a red corduroy ribbon.

Surprise: For a nostalgic touch, Greer wired in a pair of children's ice skates laced with red velvet ribbon.

Best tip: Use what you have -- an old sled, a pair of wooden skis, a child's toboggan -- to add whimsy.

From: Nature's Harvest, 320 Wayzata Blvd. E., Wayzata, 952-473-4687


Materials: For a wreath that welcomes winter, Fleur de Lis owner Robin Rivard wrapped grapevine around a metal base, then tucked in seeded eucalyptus. To create a rich, tonal color scheme, she layered in fresh magnolia leaves, pine cones and pepperberries. "I like a natural look," she said. "It transcends traditional red and green."

Surprise: Slender nandina, with its autumn-tinted leaves, adds subtle, sophisticated color.

Best tip: To deck a winter wreath for the holidays, add gold balls and copper ribbon for Christmas, sparkles for New Year's Eve.

From: Fleur de Lis, 516 Selby Av., St. Paul, 651-292-9562


Materials: Carol Walline, the design half of the mother-daughter duo that makes up Sprigs Floral Design, crafted her swag from mix of evergreens (balsam, Scotch pine and cedar), then added red twigs and a few sprigs of oregonia for texture. For accents, she added twig balls and red flocked pine cones.

Surprise: Instead of a ribbon, Walline tied her swag with a colorful scarf for "an unexpected welcome."

Best tip: Personalize your front-door decorations with a pair of woolen mittens, a favorite toy, pieces from a collection. "It doesn't have to be a lot," she said, "just enough to add some surprise."

From: Sprigs Floral Design (a Twin Cities-based custom container company), 612-940-8550,


Materials: Designers Laurie Luehmann and Tom Brandt took a standard evergreen base and heavily layered it with magnolia leaves, dried pomegranates, pine cones, money plant seed heads, reindeer moss and real and faux berries. To give it 3-D appeal, they also tucked in birch twigs.

Surprise: For a whimsical take on tradition, they added sponge fingers, sea fans and sponge cups.

Best tip: If you like a rich look, "layer stuff in, add dimension and don't be afraid to use lots," said Luehmann. "Go ahead and glob it on."

From: Luehmann, 5005 Bryant Av. S., Minneapolis, 612-285-8467



Text By Connie Nelson •




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