As requested here is a tutorial to make an outside Christmas wreath. Before I start I need to make it clear that I am not a florist and that this is just a technique that has developed over the years and seems to work for me - I hope it will suit you too!
To start you need a metal wreath hoop (I bought mine from a local flower shop for 50p, they are also available in garden centres), some florist wire/garden wire, a block of oasis, a pair of garden scissors/secateurs, an old kitchen knife and any decorations you want to add at the end. You will also need a pile of whatever garden materials you have chosen to make your wreath.
Before you start, you need to have soaked your oasis in a bucket of water (I use warm water, purely because it is nicer when you are handling it and it doesn't seem to cause any problems ) a couple of hours is probably long enough, just make sure the water has soaked all the way to the centre.
Take your oasis and using the old kitchen knife cut it into oblong slices, appropriate to the size of your ring.
Make enough pieces to fit around the circle and push the ring into them so that it approximately half way in the blocks (as much showing at the back as the front.)
Once you have all your pieces, start to bind them onto the ring using garden wire. It doesn't matter how tidy this looks as it will all be covered up by the end but you do need it to be secure.
When you are finished it should look something like this.
At this point I decide where I want the top to be and using more garden wire I make a secure loop to hang my wreath from.
Now the fun begins! Go into your garden and choose two to three contrasting types of foliage (or collect from hedgerows/buy at the florist). Cut small pieces, approximately 6-8" long and strip the leaves from the bottom couple of inches. Use that bare section to push into the oasis, going in between the wire, so it is held strongly in place.
You want to put this initial layer fanning around the outside, creating a 'halo' effect around the wreath. Overlap your foliage to give a good dense coverage.
Next using a contrasting material start to fill in the centre of your wreath. This is a good place to use holly as it covers well and can be cut quite short (use the same technique of striping the bottom leaves to make a stem to push in but only use pieces 4-6" long this time). If you are using holly, do be careful, It really hurts at this point! This is when you need to make sure you have covered the oasis from view and that there are no gaps between your leaves.
I used dark fir type foliage with a variegated holly,
My friend had a lighter background with a dark green holly.
As the ivy is flowering in my garden, I couldn't resist adding some seed heads to my wreath.
This extra layer is something that changes from year to year depending on what catches my eye on the day and is totally a matter of personal taste.
The final touch is to add some colourful decorations, this again changes from year to year and has been as diverse as heart shaped candles, home dried clementines, flowers and berries from the garden or this year little plaster gift baubles. Position your items on top of your wreath before fixing them in place and that way you can check you like how it looks before fully committing yourself. I attach these using the florists wire, making sure they are securely tethered and hiding the wire behind leaves.
My friend added some holly berries to her's and will later attach hot red chillies - traditionally associated with Christmas at her house. I will try and show you a photo when she has them in place - they really look fantastic and different from any other wreaths you will see.
I hope this encourages you to have a go and make your own christmas display, I would love to see photos if you do! Have fun :)