The 'della Robbia' Wreaths of Williamsburg
Visitors to Colonial Williamsburg love the traditional 'della Robbia' style holiday wreaths inspired by Eighteenth-century engravings. Only fresh fruits and vegetables and native greens are used in the making of these festive wreaths.
The engravings suggest that a range of natural ingredients were used to decorate entrances to homes and buildings in readiness for the holidays. Typical materials used included apples, lemons, limes, oranges, pineapples, pomegranates, cranberries, bayberries, holly berries, chinaberries, rose hips, sumac berries, magnolia pods, lotus pods, milkweed pods, dried flowers, cotton bolls, rosemary, laurel, okra pods, dried cayenne peppers, mistletoe; as well as red cedar, red oak, boxwood, pine, fir, mountain laurel, magnolia, and ivy.
Each year these special holiday decorations are prepared and hung in time for the popular GRAND ILLUMINATION weekend (in early December) that marks the beginning of Colonial Williamsburg's Christmas season.
The following 16 wreaths give you a close-up look at these decorations so that you can find the ingredients you need to make a 'della Robbia' wreath for yourself. [Remember, no bows -- just native greens or other natural ingredients]