Home for the Holidays

Georgia-Made Wreaths You’ll Want to Keep Up Past New Year’s

Mandy O’Shea’s festive designs—one of which graces the December/January cover of G&G—showcase the bounty of her Athens farm

Photo: Ali Harper

Mandy O’Shea at her 3 Porch Farm flower studio, working with lunaria, cypress, juniper, and holly berries.

Mandy O’Shea’s wreaths echo the free-spirited centerpieces, bouquets, garlands, and boutonnieres she and her husband, Steve, piece together for weddings and parties through their Georgia firm, 3 Porch Farm. Luckily, the floral designer and flower farmer’s home in Comer provides an abundant harvest of source material, both cultivated and wild.

A dried lunaria wreath from 3 Porch Farm graces G&G’s December 2020/January 2021 cover.

“Typically, my wreaths can get pretty weird, with unexpected elements like dried grasses, branches, and basically anything that is appealing to me,” O’Shea says of the circlets she assembles using a base of scuppernong vines, so they will last well after the holidays end. “If it’s left out long enough, it’s almost a guarantee that a little wren will build a nest in it in early spring.”

photo: Ali Harper
O’Shea secures evergreens to a scuppernong vine base.

She might top some wreaths with a crown of bright asparagus and holly berries, or a mix of evergreens and blackberry lily seedpods, or even a halo of the dried silvery white lunaria that she and her husband have grown on the farm for years. Still, those are her favorites, and while O’Shea’s company ships out wreath kits, she encourages first-time makers to follow their own intuition. “Use ingredients you like to look at,” she says. “And remember that when you start with a grapevine base, you don’t have to use any wire. You can just tuck things in as you go.”

Evergreens such as juniper and cypress, along with the likes of blackberry lily seedpods and eucalyptus branches, were incorporated into this wreath.