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Holiday Door Decor for Do-It-Yourselfers


Wreaths are one of the oldest holiday decorations, yet this simple doorway decoration is constantly evolving. What began with evergreen boughs and berries now includes ingredients more likely to be found in Southern California, including succulents and aromatic herbs.

During the coming holiday season, several botanic gardens will be offering wreath-making classes taught by some of the masters, such as floral designer Taylor Ingebretson, who made the wreath pictured here.

Following are some of the classes offered. A few are even for children. Reservations are required for most.

* Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Canada Flintridge, (818) 952-4401:

--Dec. 5, class by Ingebretson on traditional evergreen wreaths, 1 to 2:30 p.m. $12.

--Dec. 9, class on herbal wreaths by Ingebretson, 1 p.m. $12.

--Dec. 11, class on tabletop and succulent wreaths by Ingebretson, 1 to 2:30 p.m. $12.

* Arboretum of Los Angeles County, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, (626) 447-8207:

--Wednesday, class on traditional wreaths by Dolores Keller and Marla Carter, 10 a.m. to noon. $25, includes all materials. Bring wire cutters and gloves.

--Dec. 9 and 16, class on holiday decoration and centerpieces, which will include wreaths as table centerpieces, 9 a.m. to noon both days. $50. Be sure to make reservations; this class is usually full.

* Huntington Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, (626) 405-2141:

--Dec. 5, kids' nature crafts class that will include making 6-inch wreaths, 1 to 3 p.m. Suitable for ages 3 and older. Free with general admission (must be accompanied by an adult). Gardens admission: adults, $8.50; seniors, $7; students, $5; children younger than 12, free.

--Dec. 12, children's garden workshop will include making more elaborate wreaths, 9 to 11:30 a.m. $10 registration includes materials and must be made in advance by sending a check to Children's Workshops, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108.


If you can't attend a wreath workshop, "The Living Wreath" by Teddy Colbert (Gibbs Smith, 1996; $19.95) explains how to build wreaths in which you can grow everything from succulents to gourmet greens. By a Southern California author, it's available at bookstores or directly from Teddy Colbert's Garden, (800) 833-3981, which also sells wreath frames and supplies.

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