How to Decorate the Simon King Wreath Nester
Welcome to Wildlife World's ultimate wreath decorating guide! This easy-to-follow guide covers everything you need to know to decorate your Simon King Wreath Nester every season, because a wreath isn’t just for Christmas. With the right foliage and appropriate materials, they work all year round. Look out for new releases of our seasonal blog posts with updates on how to decorate your Wreath Nester for every season. Remember, the Wreath Nester is for birds! If the nester is occupied do not move it as the birds will most likely abandon the nest.
However, we thought we’d start with everyone’s seasonal favourite, the Christmas wreath. We foraged for all of the foliage to adorn the Simon King Wreath Nester at the Wildlife World garden in Wiltshire. We love the results and have Fiona, our resident wreath and all things gardening expert, to thank for them. She put her experience and attention to detail into decorating the beautiful Christmas icon pictured.
How do you make a homemade wreath?
To make the perfect wreath in the past you’ve needed to stock up on wreath making supplies. Firstly, you'll need to fashion a wire frame or twigs, vines or pliable sticks to make the structure. Secondly, you'll need wire in a variety of thickness, tape, pins and twine at attach the decorative materials. On top of all the materials you need to fashion a beautiful and functional wreath, you will also require tools.
Here at Wildlife World, we’ve taken the tedious and usually quite frustrating part of building the base structure of a wreath out of the equation. The Simon King Wreath Nester has a natural brushwood form, attached to a reinforced steel frame with wire. In other words, the structure is sturdy and has plenty of gaps in the brushwood and wire to fix all the foliage through and to. All you’ll need to make your wreath nester a seasonal stunner is the decorating materials….and a pair of garden secateurs.
What can you use to decorate a wreath?
As mentioned above, wreaths are most often associated with Christmas, but they make lovely year-round decorations. Spring is the next season to grace us, so why not make a wreath to celebrate this period of renewed growth. Try attracting garden birds to the Simon King Wreath Nester with some early blooming spring flowers as decoration. Again, we must stress that this is a bird nest box as well as a wreath. Spring is the time of year when your garden birds will be searching for appropriate nest spots.
Snowdrops flower from January to March and their pristine white flowers would beautifully accent a base of spring foliage. Hellebores, that flower during the same period, come in an array of colours. Their delicate star shaped flowers make brilliant focal points for wreaths made in early spring.
Once Spring is in full flow, you’ll have an abundance of foliage to forage from your garden borders or local woods. An Easter themed wreath can be a riot of colours! Daffodils, with their amazingly bright yellows and bluebells, with their signature blue/purple are both iconic to British gardens. Consequently, they’d make a fine addition to embellish any spring time wreath.
Our wreath builder extraordinaire, Fiona, starts every one of her designs with a solid base. The contents of that base can alter between the usual abundant leafy green foliage to the sculptural stark twisting vines. The Simon King Wreath Nester can accommodate the entire range of these bases as it is, first and foremost, a structurally strong base with a natural brushwood finish. Essentially, what you use to decorate your wreath is whatever you can find either in your own garden.
Where to find foliage?
This is where the fun really starts! Foraging in foliage has almost become a sport for our keen-eyed craftsman, product designers, photographers and videographers. We may only be a small team at Wildlife World, but what we lack in size we make up for in enthusiasm. The reason why we love foraging in our gardens so much is that this is the best and most opportune time to spot wildlife as well.
The best places to forage are the ones nearest, it’ll give your wreath a real local feel. We’re blessed here at the office to be surrounded by the beautiful Cotswold countryside. As a result, we have endless hedgerows, colourful gardens and great big trees offer an abundance of decorative materials. No matter where you live, be it rural or urban, you’ll be able to find plants growing in all gardens. If you’ve not got the plants in your garden that you require, try planting some for future wreaths. Or if you don’t have a garden, ask your neighbours and friends if they have any of the decorative material you’d like growing in their gardens.
Fiona found everything she needed to build the winter wreath in about half an hour in the Wildlife World Wiltshire garden. She is an expert though, so don’t be disheartened if it takes you longer. It’s also slightly easier in the winter as the choice on offer is much less. We had to venture out slightly further to get the sloe berries. Luckily the hedgerows on the farm, that the Wiltshire garden is located in, still had a few branches overflowing with berries. So, we marked the spot and went back later with a trusty pair of long handled secateurs.
How to make a Christmas/Winter wreath
You’ve probably noticed the pictures of the Simon King Wreath Nester, in this blog and on the website, are decorated for Christmas. This is because the product is brand spanking new, we’ve only had the finished article for one season of garden growth. This guide is the first of a four-part series offering inspiration and advice on how to create seasonal wreaths.
The list below is a mix of what Fiona used and alternatives for the various layers of the winter wreath build.
Greenery Base Layer:
- Spruce, Fir, Any coniferous material
- Holly, Mature Ivy with berries, Bay, Aucuba (spotted laurel), Box, Mexican orange blossom, Portuguese laurel, Any glossy evergreen leaves
- Euonymus various, Senecio, Rosemary, Variegated evergreens
Berries and Flowers:
- Holly, Rosehips, Sloes, Cotoneaster, Winter jasmine
After you’ve collected all your natural supplies it’s time to fix them to the wreath. Fortunately for you this couldn’t be easier. The design of the Simon King Wreath Nester makes it easy to attach a whole array of materials. Fiona mentioned it being a great base structure to work with. The steel frame offers stability. The brushwood is not only visually pleasing but has gaps to poke stems through and tie around. On top of all that the wire used to connect the brushwood covering to the frame comes in useful as extra points to attach your chosen decorations to.
A great design can sometimes come down to balance, or mirroring, of the materials used. The wreath should be well covered the entire way round. One way to achieve this is to use the nester in the middle as a central point. Try to match, to a degree, what’s above with what’s below and the same for side to side.
The season ahead, Spring
A few plants to look out for in Spring to decorate your Easter Springtime Wreath. Ivy, Hellebores, Snowdrops, early Daffodils, Primroses, Viburnum and Grape Hyacinth. You’ll be able to see Fiona’s Spring time Wreath Nester in the next blog of our series in early spring!
Until then we’d love to see your efforts at decorating the Simon King Wreath Nester. We’ve got a year-round competition running to win a £100 voucher at Wildlife World for the best decorated wreath! With smaller vouchers for the runners up. All you need to do is send us a picture of your wreath to any of our social media platforms with the hashtag #skwreathnester.
For all the details on this fabulous competition, click here. Good luck and we look forward to seeing all your beautiful wreaths!