I thought it would be fun to create a completely different kind of wreath this year from the kind I normally make. Previously, green, lush and piney, with pops of colour or a smattering of white, has been my thing, but while still in Oz, I decided gum was the way to go.

A few weeks ago during a mighty storm, some large branches (half a tree) of an elderly gum tree broke off at the Green next to our flat. We noticed them the next morning, hanging dramatically from up high, and before the whole lot was wrapped in red tape and carted off by the council, the boys and I snuck down and broke off some choice lengths, with a view to making our Australian wreath. It didn't take long for it to dry out and it's now a dusty, gnarly silver-green, mottled and quite beautiful.

I wound a dinnerplate-sized circle out of heavy wire, and bound it in place with fine wire, then gradually added the dried gum branches, tying them in with invisible fishing cable. Finally I wove in the dried gazania heads from the garden.

Et voila! It's a joy to have around.