Handmade Wreaths Brighten Homes with Holiday Spirit


UBC Botanical Garden is Canada’s oldest continuously operating university botanical garden. The original mission of the garden was research into the native flora of British Columbia. Over the past nine decades, our mission has broadened to include research, conservation, teaching and public display of temperate plants from around the world, particularly Asian, alpine and native plants. We’re also home to the Greenheart Canopy Walkway.Come visit us – we’re located at 6804 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC. You can find more info at botanicalgarden.ubc.ca



Unless you’re the Grinch or Ebenezer Scrooge, you probably agree that the holiday season truly is one of the most wonderful times of the year. From the beautiful winterscapes that can transform even the most familiar location into a wonderland of snow to the tasty traditions that fill every kitchen and store, it’s hard to remain bitter about grey skies (and an ever increasing number of grey hairs) when there is so much joy to be had everywhere you turn.

One of those simple delights is a fresh holiday wreath for your home or workplace.

Thought to be symbolic of eternal life due to its circular shape which has no beginning or end, the addition of plant material to wreaths is said to represent the strength of life overcoming the forces of winter. Although original wreaths were constructed using Ilex aquifolium (European Holly) which is known for its vibrant green leaves and bright red berries that would last all winter, by the 17th century, the use of pomegranates and other colorful fruits began to revolutionize the look and feel of holiday wreaths. Over time other items used such as seashells from nearby beaches, pinecones, and imported trinkets become a popular addition to the craft.

Embracing this creative range, our Friends of the Garden volunteers spend two weeks every year getting hands-on and creative with making fresh holiday wreaths.

To ensure each wreath will last through the holiday season, volunteers literally toss each completed wreath across the workshop, looking for any plant material that may come loose. If nothing budges, the wreath passes the quality inspection and is eventually transferred to the Shop In The Garden where visitors such as yourself have the wonderful opportunity to take home a piece of the Garden to enjoy through the winter.

For those who like to stray from tradition, door swags, seasonal baskets and table décor handmade by our volunteers are also available at the Shop in the Garden. While you’re there take some time to browse our great selection of other holiday decor and bountiful selection of gifts appropriate for any friend or family member on your ‘nice list’ this year.

In addition to all of the plant material being sustainably sourced from our gardens and other local contributors, proceeds go directly back into supporting UBC Botanical Garden. Now that’s something to feel good about!

Handmade wreaths, door swags, seasonal baskets and table décor* are available at the Shop In The Garden, starting November 27, 2013.

* New items arrive daily; available while supplies last.