Wreath Making is a Family Affair

Every year, the appearance of Christmas symbols marks the holiday season. Evergreens bedecked with ornaments. Nativity scenes. Candy canes. Santa. And, of course, wreaths.

Cheshire Floral Farm, a family-run business at 92 Pleasant Street in Marlborough, makes and sells countless wreaths every year.

Bob Powers, who runs Cheshire Floral Farm with his wife Jane, son Andy and daughter-in-law Gwen, has been at it for four decades. He said wreaths are very popular this time of year.

“We do a lot of wreaths that are plain, and we do a lot of wreaths that have mixed greens in them,” he said. “We grow a lot of the greens here on the property. We have like 60 varieties.”

A range of plants go into the wreaths, including varieties of juniper, pine, balsams and cypress. In the summer, Powers said, his family collects grasses and wheat and dries it to use in wreaths later in the year.

“We’re gathering material all the way through the season, everything we can find,” he said.  “... We collect a lot of the different pinecones and everything else we use on them, too.” 

The process starts with a ring. One can use a regular ring and wire the materials to it, but for Christmastime wreaths, Powers said they use a ring that allows them to crimp the greens on.

Powers said he and his son make most of the wreaths. He estimated he can make a standard 12-inch Christmas wreath in about 15 minutes. 

“If you know what you’re doing, and you’ve got a little eye for doing the floral work, how things fit and everything, it makes it much easier,” he said.

The farm has a large selection of ribbons and other decorations that customers can add to their wreaths, according to Powers. 

“They can come in and customize whatever they want,” he said.

While wreaths may be most associated with winter, Powers said Cheshire Floral Farm also gets requests for wreaths for Memorial Day. He said they make those out of all natural substances, with twine instead of wiring, so people can throw them in the river to commemorate the holiday.

Powers doesn’t know exactly how many wreaths the farm makes in a typical year. 

“We have no idea,” he said with a laugh. “We’ve been trying to tally that.”

Cheshire Floral Farm is eight acres. It has three main greenhouses and two smaller ones, surrounded by four fenced-in acres, Powers said. “We do annuals and perennials and everything you can think of in the spring, along with some shrubs.”

This time of year, its offerings include succulents, indoor plants and gourds for Thanksgiving decoration, according to a recent Facebook post.

Powers said they also make old-fashioned wooden planter boxes and have a gift shop on site. The farm is always taking suggestions from customers about what they’re looking for, he noted.

“We have everything you can imagine for Christmas,” he said. “We’re not just into wreaths.”