How to make a fresh floral wreath for Christmas
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Nada Gokal (centre) of Vintage Bloom, recommends fresh leaves and berries for the DIY wreath. Pawan Singh / The National

Stepping into a home scented with the heady smell of fresh flowers is an instant welcomer. Floral designer Nada Gokal, founder of Vintage Bloom in JLT, Dubai, is a big fan of using fresh foliage in decor.

“Flowers are my passion,” says the Pakistani, who grew up in Switzerland and has been living in Dubai for 22 years. Her company creates elaborate, custom-designed flower arrangements for weddings and corporate functions.

During the festive season, Vintage Bloom’s arrangements feature a little more glitter and sparkle, especially when it comes to designing for corporate Christmas parties. “We might use Christmas props, candles, or simply sparkle up our vases,” says Gokal. All of that, she says, can also be done in your own home.

“You can add a touch of snow and some Christmas props to your table, to make it look wintry and seasonal. Pine cones are lovely and a poinsettia plant provides an instant Christmas feel. Add glitter to some simple vases that you can purchase anywhere.”

As for fresh foliage, Gokal recommends fresh leaves and berries in your centrepieces: ilex leaves and berries; snowberries; and cotton flowers, all dotted with small pine cones on wires. Include a fresh sprig on each place setting on the table.

“Another very reasonable and cheerful way to jazz up the table is by putting Christmas baubles in a clear cylindrical vase and, for that extra sparkle, add battery-operated fairy lights. This provides a beautiful and simple festive feel.”

Gokal also recommends making a simple floral wreath to use as a table centrepiece. All you need is some circular floral foam, easily purchased from a gardening supply store, together with a bucket of water, a pair of scissors and a good stack of flowers and leaves.

Pawan Singh / The National

1. Drop your floral foam into a bucket of water and allow it to sink and soak up as much water as possible. It will only take a few minutes for the foam to sink; then pull it out to start your festive wreath.

Pawan Singh / The National

2. Start with the leaves; eucalyptus will make your wreath smell amazing – you can even use two types. Snip leaves so they are as long as your palm and leave a bit of the stem at the bottom, to insert it into the foam.

Pawan Singh / The National

3. Once there are leaves dotted all around the foam, add red roses and pink spray roses in clusters of three, as well as carnations. Dot the more seasonal foliage all around the wreath. Gokal is a fan of winter blooms such as delicate purple astrantia, fern-like astilbe, purple eustoma, alstroemeria lilies, grey brunia and winter berries in various colours. You can even add pine cones, or dried oranges and apple slices, to make it even more wintry. Don’t forget to keep adding greenery and leaves as you go along, and make sure you don’t neglect the sides of your foam, if you’re using it as a table centrepiece.

Pawan Singh / The National


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