The City Magazine Since 1975

Ring in the Season

Ring in the Season
December 2016
Celebrated floral designers team up for a December 3 wreath workshop 

It all started with a 140-year-old letter that Historic Charleston Foundation’s director of museums, Lauren Northup, found in the archives of the Aiken-Rhett House Museum. “A friend of the Aiken family describes celebrating Christmas by cutting greens at their plantation and using them to make ‘wild arrangements,’’’ recalls Anne Bowen Dabney of Stems floral design studio. She and Heather Barrie, owner of Gathering Floral + Event Design, needed to hear no more.

The pals, each tapped to make the grandest of events bloom (both were named among Martha Stewart Weddings’ Top Floral Designers last year), had established the Charleston Flower Workshop in May 2015 as a way to share two perspectives on their art form. That December, they held their first Holiday Wreath Workshop outside the Aiken-Rhett, also taking guests into the circa-1820 residence for garland and mantel arrangement demonstrations.

This December 3, they’ll once again cut greenery, berries, and fruits from the landscape and invite novices and pros alike to weave them into wreaths, offering plenty of pro tips—and holiday refreshments—along the way.

Attend the Wreath Workshop: On December 3, sessions are from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m. at the Aiken-Rhett House (48 Elizabeth St.). A $150 ticket includes a house tour, instruction, materials, and light refreshments. For details on all upcoming workshops, visit