At A Glance: More Garlands

If you have been reading this journal for a long time, you may see pictures you have seen before. I find that looking at older work always has a purpose. What you would not want to repeat is obvious, but some work stands up fairly well to the passing of the years, and is worth a second look.  I did not do garland at the shop last year. This picture makes me want to be sure to do it this year.

These interior garlands were done last winter, in response to the most spectacular holiday garland I have ever seen. The British version of Country Living magazine did a great article about it, with lots of pictures. When you see it, you will know why I fell so hard for it. Perhaps when I retire, I will go to Cotehele in the fall, and join in the making. That would be a perfect moment in the garden, indeed. Should you be curious, to follow is a link to my blog post on it from this past March.   the holiday garland at Cotehele

Please enjoy what is to follow on the subject of holiday garlands. In much the same way as I was inspired by the pictures of Cotehele garland, perhaps something you see here will resonate such that you decide to gather materials and build a garland. If you are already in the process of making a garland that will find a home in your garden, bravo.

garland over the door

garland detail

garland with faux fruit, Williamsburg style

Interior wreath and mantel garland

The above picture is a garland detail with orange faux fruit and preserved pink eucalyptus. This was my garland at home one year. I rather enjoy creating something from those materials no one else spoke for. That pink eucalyptus was glaringly unattractive in the shop.  But in this garland, it had its beautiful moment.

The swag and drape over this window is a loose weave burlap ordinarily used to cover grass seed.  The corner medallions?  24″ diameter magnolia wreaths.

My partner Rob is a big fan of light garlands. These light garlands of his were the highlight of this holiday season.

garland for a mantel

This garland was zip tied to a large diameter bamboo pole so it would stay straight across this long horizontal run above the door. No matter what you make, or how you make it, gravity will rule.

plain magnolia garland swooping below a tile roof

garland for a tree trunk. I cannot really explain in words why I love this so much. But no doubt it has to do with the incomparable beauty of a tree.

formal mantel garland

garland on bamboo poles with wings

light garland designed, fabricated and hung by Rob. How it terminates into a small stone cistern is so beautiful.

magnolia and lime green lichen garland

evergreen garland with a top garland of grapevine

two story tall magnolia and light garland

garland hats over the windows of dry hydrangeas and various dry stems from the perennial garden. The stems in the center of the window boxes are cut weed skeletons from the field next door. Beautiful garland can be made with cut materials at hand right outside a gardener’s door.

My advice? Express your past season with the garden over your door or on your mantel. That making will keep you company all winter long.

This is one way that an expression of a delight for the garden can wrap you up and keep you warm, all winter long.



  1. You folks have a wonderful imagination. Love it.

  2. Are the pine cones bleached?

  3. I remember the English Castle and garlands. How wonderful to be a part of something so special. Deborah, may your holidays be filled with all things joyful!

  4. What an inspiration! And I really appreciate how open you are to using any material if it moves you. With a West facing front door here in Virginia, my Garland looks pretty fried by Xmas though.r

  5. All are fabulous creations!

  6. Jennifer Olson says

    Where might one find the bamboo poles?

  7. Lisa at Greenbow says

    This post made me smile. So many styles for all the different places. You bet there is some inspiration here. Loved the tree all dolled up for the holidays. I bet it is telling all the other trees it looks best.

  8. I love them all, creative salutes to nature’s bounty. My very very favorite though is the swag and drapes. So simple, unexpected and elegant. Happy Holidays to you and everyone at Detroit Garden Works and Branch. And esp those with 4 feet!

  9. Thank you for sharing your awesomeness! Very inspiring! Happy Holidays!

  10. The garland around the tree looks like a grand lady, arms up in the air with her boa-fringed dress pooling around her feet at the floor as she tries to walk.

  11. I was so glad to see your comment about garland direction on last post and look over the addition photos. I decorate for a public garden and this is a topic of conversation. It looks like you sometimes put the cut ends of greens on the “up” side when a garland is vertical, sometimes “down”, but always keep it symmetrical rather than continuous?

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Anna, I do all of the greens in the vertical dimension on the upside, and in the same direction over to the top center. So the two pieces of garland meet in the center with their branchy “fingers” overlapping and meeting. Greens that face down shrink and contract as they dry. Upfacing greens fan out from gravity, and dry that way. best, Deborah

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