Time needed: 45 minutes.
Michael Giannelli decks the halls of his idyllic East Hampton Gardens shop with lush layers of natural elements that capture the elegant, organic beauty of woodland flora and fauna. “The deep garden greens dusted with snow, the faded blue hydrangeas remaining from summer, and a pop of red from a cardinal in flight drove my vision for this dreamy ‘Woodland Christmas’ decor and helped bring it to life,” he says. He shows us how to decorate a woodland Christmas wreath with lush greens and bold blooms including hydrangeas and roses.
Pre-made, 28-inch wreath (Michael ordered from The Magnolia Company)
Ornamental bird’s nest
Hydrangeas (Verena classic blue)
Lavender spray roses (Innocence)
Red roses (Francois Rabelais)
White roses (Moonstone)
Viburnum (red berry)
Pre-made bow (Or see Michael’s video, “How to Make a Bow for a Wreath“)
- Start with a Bird’s Nest.
Affix the bird’s nest a little off-center at the bottom of the pre-made wreath.
- Add Hydrangeas.
Clip hydrangeas on an angle, leaving approximately 2 inches of stem; remove leaves. Place each stem in a filled water tube, and insert tubes into the wreath counterclockwise.
- Time for Spray Roses
Clip lavender spray roses into individual blooms off the stem; remove the leaves. Cluster groups of three blooms together, and place each group inside a water tube. Tuck a water tube behind each hydrangea, alternating sides. Clip red roses, remove leaves, and place each single bloom in a filled water tube. Tuck each bloom beneath the hydrangea on the opposite side of the cluster of spray roses.
- Add White Roses.
Clip white roses, remove leaves, and place each single bloom in a filled water tube. Randomly insert the roses throughout the wreath.
- Fill with Smaller Flowers and Berries.
Fill in the exposed space between hydrangea clusters with viburnum, scabiosa, and hellebores, alternating placement to achieve an asymmetrical design. Create a final floral layer by inserting sprigs of eucalyptus and white waxflowers into the wreath so that they sit slightly higher than the others and fill in all the empty space.
- Bring in the Bird!
Nestle the bird into the side of the wreath at approximately 3 o’clock.
- Top It with a Bow
Affix the pre-made bow to the top center of the wreath, and enjoy! Or see Michael’s video “How to Make a Bow for a Wreath,” a simple, step-by-step method that only requires ribbon, scissors, and a zip tie.
Behind the Scenes
People celebrate milestone birthdays in different ways. Some take a bucket-list trip while others buy a new car or try a new hairstyle. For his 50th birthday, Michael Giannelli gifted himself a new career when he forayed from fashion to floral design. Having spent close to three decades designing products for brands such as Gap, Loft, and Victoria’s Secret, Michael decided to start over and turn his passion for flowers into a profession.
“My retail experience taught me how to tell a cohesive story and bring a collection to life,” says the floral designer, who attended FlowerSchool New York. “I always look forward to the changing seasons and the fresh ideas and inspiration that come with each one. I love surprising my clients with each story I tell.”
Produced by Margaret Zainey Roux | Photography by Tria Giovan
More Christmas Decor
Christmas in Colour with Butter Wakefield