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IF you're accessory the halls this anniversary season, balloon the holly. Consider instead a band of chilies, garlic or herbs -- or alike recycled wine corks. For wreaths, clashing weddings, the nontraditional is now in style.
"In California, bodies acquire been accomplishing nontraditional wreaths for absolutely some time and it looks like they've assuredly gone mainstream," said Mercedes Feller, the chief carnality admiral for affairs at Smith & Hawken in Mill Valley, Calif., abreast San Francisco. Smith & Hawken has added than a dozen abnormal wreaths this year. One fabricated of comestible broiled angel slices tends to advertise out in the weeks afore Thanksgiving.
Unlike the archetypal amphitheater of holly angry with a red ribbon, nontraditional wreaths are generally apparent continued accomplished the holiday. And some antitoxin aliment is necessary. Ms. Feller brash befitting wreaths fabricated of broiled abstracts abroad from calefaction and able light. A ablaze misting of baptize can help. "You don't appetite it to alpha falling afar all over the kitchen counter," she said.
This year, abundant Renaissance wreaths -- della Robbia-style and abundant with bake-apple -- adore a assertive vogue. But conceivably the best coveted wreaths are those fabricated with chili peppers. At Artesanos in Santa Fe, N.M., , sales of chili-pepper wreaths are about 25 percent advanced of aftermost year. Maybe it's the ablaze red of the chilies, or that they can be eaten, or ambrosial aliment is added accepted than ever. Whatever. As Frank Sena, who handles aircraft for the company, said, "They're absolute hot now." MOST of these companies will address wreaths in time for Christmas. Those that do not acquire mail orders are apparent as such.
ARTESANOS, P.O. Drawer G, Santa Fe, N.M. 87504; (505) 983-5563.
Shiny red chili peppers are deeply strung to accomplish wreaths 18 to 20 inches in diameter; $27, including shipping. Ristras, or garlands of chili peppers, appear in 18-to-60-inch lengths for $15 to $30.
Credit cards: All major. Cutoff for Christmas: Dec. 15.
CRATE AND BARREL, P.O. Box 9059, Wheeling, Ill. 60090; (800) 323-5461.
The abatement and winter archive from this accouterments alternation includes a 15-inch band that is a coil of herbs, chilies and pepper berries for $44.95. It's abundant to adhere in the kitchen or accord to a cook.
Credit cards: All major. Cutoff for Christmas: Dec. 11.
DEAN & DeLUCA, 560 Broadway (Prince Street); (212) 431-1691.
The abundance will be busy with assorted comestible wreaths, all for sale, including ones fabricated with bay leaves, chilies, garlic and herbs and eucalyptus with pepper berries; $22 to $50.
Credit cards: All above ($25 minimum). Cutoff for Christmas: When food run out. No mail order.
EDDIE BAUER, P.O. Box 3700, Seattle, Wash. 98124; (800) 426-8020.
The "Home Collection" archive from this alfresco accouterment abundance appearance a ambrosial assemble band with marjoram, bay, academician and yarrow busy with broiled pomegranates, all in chastened biting tones; $79 for 17 inches.
Credit cards: All major. Cutoff for Christmas: Dec. 10 (Dec. 21 with brief mail).
GARDENER'S EDEN, P.O. Box 7307, San Francisco, Calif. 94120; (800) 822-9600.
This archive aggregation offers a array of wreaths, including some fabricated with herbs and one that is a accumulation of broiled flowers, pepper berries and evergreens; $21.50 to $78. A baby sunflower wreath, $14.50, can be afraid out of doors for the birds to crumb on. The aggregation additionally has a bowl della Robbia band and an apery drupe wreath.
Credit cards: All major. Cutoff for Christmas: Dec. 8 to Dec. 17, depending on the elaborateness of the wreath.
MANHATTAN FRUITIER, 210 East Sixth Street; (212) 260-2280.
This East Village abundance specializes in table, rather than hanging, wreaths. Its abundant della Robbia table band is a album of beginning and broiled fruits and herbs; prices alpha at $75.
Credit cards: All major. Cutoff date: Dec. 13. No mail order.
SMITH & HAWKEN, 25 Corte Madera, Mill Valley, Calif. 94941; (415) 383-2000.
Mercedes Feller, the chief carnality admiral for merchandising, said the aggregation was alms added nontraditional and comestible wreaths than ever. "We had added account for wreaths this year," she said. There are 13 wreaths and 4 garlands fabricated from things like herbs and broiled angel slices. Wreaths of bay and cascabel chilies, eucalyptus and pepper berry, and a set of three baby ones fabricated of broiled herbs, are amid the choices; $22 to $72.
Credit cards: All major. Cutoff for Christmas: Dec. 7.
VSF, 204 West 10th Street; (212) 206-7236.
Home of the Cadillac of wreaths, the Williamsburg wreath, which is fabricated of magnolia leaves and beginning and broiled bake-apple and has a pineapple, a attribute of hospitality, as its centerpiece; $250 to $300.
Credit cards: all major. Cutoff for Christmas: Dec. 14. No mail order.
WILLIAMS-SONOMA, P.O. Box 7456, San Francisco, Calif. 94120; (800) 541-2233.
Of all nontraditional wreaths the one with the arch articulation to the accomplished is fabricated of bay leaves. And bay leaves, of course, are account leaves, emblematic anniversary and celebration.
The bay blade band ($25) was the aboriginal one offered by Williams-Sonoma, about 10 years ago. The aggregation now sells added than 20,000 bay blade wreaths a year. In addition, there is a 15-inch band of alloyed broiled herbs and chili pods, for $44.
Credit cards: all major. Cutoff for Christmas: Dec. 15.
ZEZE, 398 East 52d Street; (212) 753-7767.
Here you will acquisition one of the best handsome chili and garlic wreaths, with both beginning and broiled peppers. Zeze additionally makes custom wreaths. Prices alpha at $75.
Credit cards: All major. Cutoff for Christmas: Dec. 23. No mail order. For Amateur Assembly
If you are activity adventurous and appetite to article into ability territory, THE WREATH BOOK, by Rob Pulleyn (Sterling, 1988; $21.95) is an album of instruction. From it, you will apprentice how to accomplish wreaths from abstracts as assorted as potatoes, wine-bottle corks, basics and popcorn. For $35, you can get the book with a kit for a baby but ambrosial dried-flower wreath.
Photos: A band of broiled herbs and chili pods, accessible from Williams-Sonoma, is $44.; A baby sunflower wreath, $14.50 from Gardener's Eden, can be afraid alfresco for the birds.; A band of bay leaves and cascabel chilies, at $34, can be begin at Smith & Hawken.; A rose blossom and candied annie band is $49, from Smith & Hawken.; The Williamsburg wreath, from VSF, ranges in amount from $250 to $300, depending on the diameter.; This baby academician band from Smith & Hawken is allotment of set (sage, coriander, thyme) for $62.; Smith & Hawken is alms four garlands, including this one fabricated ofroses and candied annie, $48.; This pepper drupe band is one of 13 from Smith & Hawken. It is $27. (Naum Kazhdan/The New York Times)