Christmas Garland Tutorial

Jenna Hill for Vale + Vine.jpg

As the season of holiday parties and gift-giving descends upon me, I try evermore to ensure that I slow my pace down, sing lots of carols, and find peace in the true meaning of Christmas.  Creating from nature enables me to do all of these things, and points me back to the beauty of creation itself. Majestic, brimming with delights, and wholly able to rejuvenate the soul, nature beckons us to discover its beauty.  I love that Christmas more than any other season invites us to bring the most wild parts of nature indoors, tantalizing our senses with cedar, pine, and berries.  

When Jenna Hill sent me this DIY tutorial for a holiday garland constructed by Okanagan florist Melinda Murovec of A New Leaf Floral Design, I knew I wanted to feature it and inspire not only those celebrating marriage at this time of year, but all those who are looking for ways to bring the outside, in. Here are a few words from Jenna and Melinda  about this creative process...        

"We wanted to bring an elegant, organic feel to the holiday season.  So quickly we get caught up in the sparkle and glamour of the holiday season that we wanted to create a simple, down to earth "foraged" table setting.  The beauty of this is that it will look different depending on where you live, and what's in season around Christmas."  -- Jenna Hill

"I have always been a forager. I love incorporating the surrounding ingredients when working on wedding and event florals whenever I can.  I like to call foraging, pruning."  -- Melinda Murovec

Here then, is the results of a simple collaboration that will hopefully inspire a natural, celebratory holiday creation, whether it be for your party, wedding, mantle, or Christmas feast.  .

Instructions for Foraging 

- Make sure you gather only as much as you need

- Use sharp pruners so as not to damage the branches

- Collect at least 3 different types of greens (pine, Oregon grape, cedar)*

- Gather some interesting branches (lichen covered branches)*

- Collect something with colour--it could be a vine, rose hips or mountain ash berries (bittersweet vine)*

*items we collected and used

Instructions for Holiday Table Runner

1) Start with the green that has the largest mass (pine) laying it along the centre of the table and making sure the width is the same throughout.  Cut off any sprigs that are too wide. 

2) Lay the other sprigs of greens (cedar and Oregon grape) in a zig zag pattern tucking in the end of the branches so they don’t show.

3) Position the branches along the garland, again making sure the ends are tucked in.

4) Incorporate the item that has colour--a vine with berries works well, as it provides colour and links the garland together.

5) Tuck some candles in spots around the garland.

And there you have it.  A perfect weekend-before-Christmas project that will get you out in nature, slowing down, and creating something simple, lovely, and inexpensive.    

Credits // Photography + Styling - Jenna Hill  / Florals + Design - Melinda Murovec of A New Leaf Floral Design / Model - Mary Epp