"'Twas the month before Christmas and all through the house, all you could hear was the click of a mouse...'"
Except that today, there was the click of scissors as well, as I made our door wreath. I don't really like the primped, all-too-perfect ones on sale and prefer a looser, more natural wreath, made from cuttings from the garden and which will gradually dry and change character as the month progresses.
I start with some cuttings of ivy, cotoneaster and rosemary, which is still flowering in one corner of the garden and has an amazing scent. I choose long, spindly lengths, still very soft and pliable so that I can wind and wrap it around to make a circle.
I wind the lengths of ivy and cotoneaster around each other, twisting it in and out to keep it all together, not really worrying at this point whether it is looking ok and simply concentrating on getting a firm foundation.
Gradually, I add in more greenery, still twisting the long lengths around one another and gently pushing the circle into shape from time to time. Now, I'm trying to keep the leaves on one side in preference to the other, making a front and a back. Any little sprig that doesn't behave gets the chop!
Finally, I fill in any gaps with little bits of purple sage, twigs of rosehips and ivy berries - though the cultivated ivy in the garden doesn't have berries, the wild stuff in the lane is loaded. I poke the stems through and twist them in and amongst the other twisted stems as far as I can.
I make a hanging loop from a leftover piece of ivy stem and hang on the front door.