• Christmas wreath made from clivia berries and yellowwood twigs.

Indigenous South African Christmas wreath the Blaauwheim way.

Posted by Jo-Anne on Thu December 24, 2020.

A Blaauwheim Christmas wreath is made from indigenous clivia berries and yellowwood twigs. It is original, creative, fun to make, inexpensive yet absolutely stunning.

Blaauwheim's lush garden offers lots of clivia berries (Clivia miniata) for me to harvest for my wreath as well as a huge yellowwood tree (Afrocarpus falcatus) from which to get all the foliage needed to fill the gaps.

Our local florist always has wreaths available in all different sizes. The flower foam form comes in a plastic drip tray. The diameter of my wreath is about 30cm. Soak the wreath in clean water until the oasis is saturated. This takes a few hours. Transfer the wreath onto a round platter, slightly bigger than the wreath. This makes transporting the wreath so much easier and prevents water stains on your furniture. It is also more comfortable to spin the platter rather than walking around the wreath during the process of arranging the plant material.

Harvest berries from the previous season that you are prepared to sacrifice. Don't fret if all the bunches are not full or if the berries are not the same colour or of the same size. This is a natural wreath and Mother Nature loves variety in colour and shape. Rinse the berries under a running tap to remove all sorts of spider webs and dirt. Allow them to get a good drink of water. I used about twenty bunches of berries. Work gently with the bunches since the berries are ripe and prone to falling off. Cut the stalks of the bunches so that they sit snugly on the foam when pressed down. Balance your bunches so that all the full ones are not too closely together.  Cover the entire foam circle.

The colour, texture and size of the leaves of this particular yellowwood complement the vibrant reds of the clivia berries. Cut a branch and separate into individual twigs. Fill all the spaces and little gaps until the floral foam has been totally concealed.

A sturdy cream coloured beeswax candle in the centre completes the project.

This wreath will last until next year! Water the oasis sparingly from time to time. Once the stems of the bunches of berries start to yellow, pick all the berries and give them to all your friends who have admired your wreath to grow their own clivias.

Blaauwheim's wishes for you: May you all have a wonderful Christmas and a happy and healthy 2021.