Whether you yearn for a festive wreath on your front door, a bouquet of evergreens for your Advent candles, or sprigs of holly on the mantle, there is scope for imagination and creativity in a garden that thoughtfully incorporates evergreens in all their varied textures, colors, and fragrances.

Late each November or early December, it’s my delight to head out into the wind with a wheelbarrow and some pruning scissors, and wander the garden in search of evergreen cuttings to grace the candles we light each week in anticipation of Advent.

And each December, I breathe gratitude for a husband who understands the value of evergreens in a garden–especially in winter, when the brilliance of autumn is a sweet memory and the glories of spring are a far-off hope. So I gather the luster of Southern Magnolia and Holly, the fragrance of Juniper, Pine and Spruce, the texture of Fir, Cryptomeria, Temple Cedars and Yews, add a sprinkle of berries from Pieris and Winterberry . . .

Slowly, reflectively, I shape our Advent wreath, all the while giving thanks for family and friends, meaningful work, sunshine, birdsong, evergreens, and Hope, Peace, Joy and Love personified that first Christmas so long ago.

Gladly shared by Betty Hanselman

Gardener’s wife (& grateful wreath-shaper)