At the Wild Bunch floral studio, a cozy, warm, one-year-old white storefront in Vancouver’s lower Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, seasons are demarcated by shifts in the local flowers and foliage that spill from vintage vases and make up the wreaths that hang from the walls.
Now, entering winter, autumnal hops and vines are being edged out by fragrant evergreens, which founder Nastaran Soofi Siavash and business partner Alexandra Schulze are preparing to incorporate into their signature free-form wreaths—the pair teaches a handful of classes each season for those keen to try their hands at floral sculpture, an easy and satisfying seasonal DIY project free from the fussiness that getting crafty can often beget.
“We began making wreaths before Thanksgiving,” says Schulze, “we make so many each year—you can keep them for a while, they’re hardy and you can give them a light mist, but even as they fade and kind of become a blue-y colour, they look really nice.” “The approach we have to floral design, in general, is freestyle,” adds Siavesh. “We work with the ingredients, the shape of the branch and stem and let that guide the look and the positioning of the wreath.” As they speak, Schulze lifts branches of cedar and pine from the table before them, affixing first two large fronds to a haphazard circle of rose vine tied with covered wire. “Every next step of making a wreath gets easier and easier because you’re layering everything to work with the other pieces. So look at it, take a step back, reassess where you want your lines to be as you go,” she says, adding moss, dried flowering grasses, juniper, and frothy blooms of gypsophila.
The process is straightforward to replicate at home—with wire, Japanese clippers, shears for woodier stems, and greenery, you can replicate the meditative practice of adding a few greens here, a few blooms there, then stepping back to look at the bigger picture, noticing which gaps to fill in, and which give the final piece an imperfect charm.
As far as an annual tradition to incorporate into one’s holiday routine, a DIY wreath feels creative, contemplative, and celebratory—hanging the finished product on a door or wall afterwards is the ultimate festive touch. And there’s no need to strive for perfection—if the holidays can be a little wild, so can your decor.
The Wild Bunch offers wreath making classes December 7 and 14, 2017. Learn more about the Wild Bunch’s workshops here.
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