15 Sep 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by strategypeach

Adorning Your Door

To wreath, or not to wreath, that is the question.

Thanksgiving is coming up and right behind that, then, of course, Christmas. These holidays have one thing in common.

No, not fruits and vegetables with a common color theme of orange. The desire to wreath.  

You heard me. You know what I’m talking about. Door wreaths. 

For some reason these particular holidays make us want to decorate our doors.  Why? I have no idea. Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with the circular door décor. 

While many wreaths can be, well, allow me to be blunt ...TACKY, I adore a well crafted naturalistic display. One that is the definition of why we wreath our doors to begin with. One that makes a Carolina Wren think you put it there just for her to nest in. Those are the ones I love!

Ones with glitter and fake fruit or smiling scarecrows...those kind of creep me out.

Back to why we wreath our doors to begin with. Greek legend tells the tale of Apollo, Zeus’ son, who fell in love with the nymph  Daphne. When he pursued her, she ran away and sought the help of the river god Peneus. Peneus turned her into a laurel tree. From that day forth, Apollo wore a wreath of laurel on his head. This became a symbol of everything Apollo represented: victory, achievement and status. 

Decoration of one’s front door with a wreath would therefore become one of the most commonly used symbols of achievement throughout Greece and Rome.  While the practice is nowadays more decorative and serves as welcome for those arriving at your door, isn’t it interesting that this practice has been carried over for so many centuries?.

While entire businesses have been built from the building of round door adornments and the hobby is spreading like wildfire, you don’t have to make one yourself . There are a wealth of creative people out there who will make a custom designed one just for you, or you can wile away the hours browsing on Etsy, and pay for someone else’s crafty creations.

Before adorning your door, let’s review a few rules of thumb about choosing a wreath. If not selected with care, your wreath can overwhelm your approaching guests and defeat its welcoming purpose.

The diameter of the wreath should not be more than 3/4 of the width of your door. It should not have a depth more than 6 or 7 inches, or it can be too bulky. While materials or decorative objects are the whim of its creator, bear in mind that you will be opening and shutting the door, so all objects and trailing tendrils of vine will need to be securely fastened.

Hanging the wreath on your door can be complicated. If your door has a window in it, you will need to suspend the wreath from a ribbon or florist wire. If your door is one of those energy efficient metal sheathed doors, it’s not as easy as tapping a nail into the door, but there are wonderful pages of instructions  as well as a variety of slip on hooks that will serve the purpose.

Of course I always want to encourage you to explore your creative side and I always want to encourage you to spend precious time in nature. So even if you don’t want to actually construct your own wreath (oh, go ahead and try it!) take a walk on one of these beautiful autumn days and collect pretty leaves, pinecones, or magnolia leaves and pods and hand them over to your local florist to make something pretty for you. Or, pay a visit to the Piedmont Park Green Market for seasonal small squash, gourds, and other naturalistic items to get creative with!

Have fun!


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