Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wreaths of Maine

I'm excited to tell you about a project our family has taken on for the Christmas season - selling wreaths!  We are selling for a company located in Maine in a town that has been making holiday greens to garnish doors since the first German settlers arrived in the 1700's.  They use Balsam fir to make double sided wreaths, because it is plentiful, but more so because it smells so good.  It is one of the most aromatic greens around that most Mainers equate to the smell of Christmas.  Each wreath has greens on both sides to give it a full appearance.  It measures a full two feet across, which is a perfect size for the front door.  Each one is hand made by a skilled wreath maker, forming bouquets of Balsam fir greens that are wired onto both sides of a ring to form a wreath.  The wreaths are then decorated just as it appears in the picture, except for the bow; which is placed in the center to prevent it from crushing.  The wreaths are then delivered in decorative boxes using the fastest and most efficient delivery possible so wreaths arrive fresh at your door.  They come with a personalized gift card and a hanger attached.  They go straight from the box to the front door.

Homestead Wreath - $35.00

23" double sided Balsam Fir, comes with bow

Classic Christmas Wreath - $41.00

23" double side Balsam Fir, with Austrian pine cones, holly berries, baby's breath and red bow

Hamilton Plaid Spray - $41.00

27" high x 16" wide, Balsam fir, Austrian and white pine cones, holly berries, and plaid bow

Christmas Cross - $41.00

20" high x 15" wide decorated with burgundy bow

What is a Balsam wreath?

Balsam wreaths are made from the Balsam Fir trees called Abies balsama, which is a native fir to New England that only grows in the colder sections of the region and into the Canadian Maritimes. The needles are generally flat and the trees tend to grow close together; which, slows the growth of the foliage giving it a natural pruned effect and a fuller branch. The balsam fir is known for its aromatic smell and is used in incense and potpourri. There are certain times of the year when the Balsam fir tree is dormant and it will hold its smell and needles longer. That time is when the weather is cold, usually two nights at temperatures of 20º F is a signal that the needles are "set". This reason alone is why Balsam wreaths are only used in the winter time and have become a Christmas tradition. 

How are Balsam fir wreaths made?

The wreaths are first started by collecting the branches from the fir trees. Depending on the length, they are called tips for the shorter ones and boughs for longer branches. Because the Balsam grow so close together, as the trees reach higher for more light, the bottom branches lack light and will eventually die. Before this process starts, these branches are harvested for the wreaths. The tips are brought to wreath makers on poles and the tips are then used to make the wreaths. Each tip is placed into what is called a bouquet, which consists of three to four pieces. Some larger ones are trimmed to give each one a uniform shape. The bouquets are then wired onto a metal ring, which forms the basis for a wreath. They are wired on both sides alternating as the wreath maker goes around the ring, placing an average of 32 bouquets into each wreath. At the end of the circle, the greens are tucked in and a loop is formed for the hanger. Some wreaths are made with a machine that aids in the wrapping, but each bouquet is still placed on the frame by hand. It is a very labor intense process, but a skilled wreath maker can make 6-7 wreaths an hour.

How to care for a wreath?

Wreaths are packed tightly in a box for shipping to prevent it from sliding around and damaging the decorations. It is wrapped in a waxed paper to hold in the moisture. Remove the wreath from everything and let it breath. It will generally come back to its rounded shape. You can help a little too. The wreaths do better if they are hung outside; however, many people do hang them inside. They should be treated like house plants and could use a light misting to help keep their moisture. If you hang your wreath outside, it is recommended that you not place it between a glass storm door and regular door that is in direct sunlight. It tends to create a green house effect and could "cook" your wreath. However, most people with such storm doors live in a place where the temperature seldom gets much above freezing in December. Do not worry about your wreath freezing; after all, it had to be frozen before the balsam could be picked.

Blueberry Wreath - $46.00

23" diameter made of double faced Balsam fir with white and Austrian pine cones, baby's breath, Maine wild blueberries and blue bow.

Traditional Christmas Wreath - $46.00

23" Diameter made of double faced Balsam fir, with Austrian and white pine cones, baby's breath, crab apples and plaid bow.

Classic Centerpiece - $43.00

18" long by 12" wide Balsam fir with Austrian pine cones, holly berries, baby's breath, 4 mini red bows and 3 red 12" tapered candles. 

"Creative, fragrant, festive" are some of the words people use to describe their wreath when they open the white gift box with the large red bow.  These thick, double-sided Christmas wreaths measure two feet across, a perfect fit for standard-sized doors, and come decorated, ready to hang.  Every wreath is handmade of the finest quality Balsam Fir.  It's this very distinctive Balsam fragrance that makes a Maine wreath unique.

An excellent gift idea!  These wreaths have been received by overseas military bases, corporate offices and thousands of homes across the country.  Each wreath is shipped individually and shipping is only $3.95.  You indicate which week you would like it to arrive, making Christmas shopping easy.

Whether you choose to decorate your home or office, or send a gift to a friend or relative, you won't find a finer, longer lasting, more beautiful wreath or spray - and now, centerpieces and crosses.

For more information please contact us through the comment section or email

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...