Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Landscape, Language, Teaching, Wildness, Beauty, Imagination

Citrus Garlands—Strung Jewels


Citrus garlands in our kitchen window.

You know how sometimes you stumble upon a photo or idea and despite having far more important things to spend your time on, you simply must do it? This is what happened with me when I saw a photo of citrus garlands. They looked so full of life, color, and fragrance—like strung happiness.

So, off to buy oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and the coup d’état that required calls ahead to three different stores—blood oranges. When peeled, these reveal the beauty of a sunrise within.

Beauty of a blood orange.

Luke and I sliced and laid out the fruit, accompanied by Spanish guitar music.

Then, into the oven at *170 degrees for 4-5 hours. The house smelled of citrus sweetness and tang.

Wore my fabulous new poppy apron that Mom gave me.

As each pan finished, we laid them out on the table.

Luke and I strung the garlands with twine. We had way too much fun doing this.

When laid out on the table, they remind me of strung jewels!

Then to hang. I love to see the garlands in the kitchen window in the mornings when I wake and pour my coffee for early morning writing.

The sun shining through reveals the intricate details and beauty of each. The blood oranges are especially exquisite.

Glowing jewels!

A friend wrote and said she and her mom had made these when she was a child. They tied cinnamon sticks in between the fruit. This sounds wonderful and we’ll be incorporating cinnamon sticks into our stands the next time we make.

Garland Bloopers: I love when movies include the bloopers. We had some definite bloopers. Note: lemons dry much faster than the larger oranges and grapefruit! Wynn’s bff, Erin, made garlands for her apartment. She sent photos the gorgeous strand strung across her room and another of charred fruit with the following note, “…and then what I call the ‘Gothic Garland.’ Love it!Luke and I played with what to call our own garland of bloopers, we tried Garnet Garland, which sounds lovely and poetic—and then decided “Gothic Garland” really is the best!

Gothic Garland

Garland strand in my writing room.

Writing room

• • •

Thank you to @newmexmattie on Instagram for the photos of the original inspiration! She says she bought hers at Bagel’s Florals. And such gratitude to Linda Archibald (@alegregardens) for diving into doing these garlands on her own and posting photos, thus turning our Teacher Education meeting into me asking her all kinds of questions about how to make. Thank you, Linda!

Author: Dawn Wink

Dawn Wink is a writer and educator whose work explores language, landscape, wildness, beauty, and imagination.

9 thoughts on “Citrus Garlands—Strung Jewels

  1. Hi Dawn,

    The citrus garlands are simply beautiful! I am obsessed with fruit, and oranges and apples are my favorites – all types, and blood oranges are so visually stunning! I had never though of stringing them into such a way to bring color, uniqueness and variations of brightness into my home in such a way that adds scent and delicate hues of dried circles. This idea is just magnificent. I could live off of oranges, lemons and McIntosh apples (roaring laughter). When I was a child, we, my siblings and cousins, would eat them while we played in the leaves, kicked, raked and piled them high to build fortresses, and we devoured the fruit until our lips would sizzle and our bellies were completely full of pulp and apple peel. We would grind the peel from the McIntosh apples into our teeth and enjoy the sweet and tart flavors into our mouths. Fall was my favorite season, and those garlands reminded me so much of the colors from my leaf-play as a child. There are always good and wonderful memories, so I will have to solicit my children during the next Thanksgiving holiday and request that they help me create some citrus garlands!

    Best to you and your family,


  2. Dear Dawn,
    Oh, what an inspiration you are! I’m sure you had many other things nagging at you to be done. But you and Luke chose to have some creative fun! So proud of you for making this choice. Those memories will live with both of you for years to come, whereas the dusting, cooking, etc., can wait! I love your descriptions: “glowing jewels,” and “strung jewels.” So very appropriate; they really are beautiful. I can imagine the delectable smell, and if it is mood-elevating, so much the better. I was just telling my brother who spends the winters with us from Iowa about your project. He told me the funniest story about our Mother during our childhood. I would love to relate it to you, and to share with you a poem she wrote as a young mother of six…eventually seven…who died at 41. Both are too long to include in this comment, but I think you would appreciate the story and poem, especially when you choose to make citrus garlands instead of doing those usual things that nag at you. May I have your e-mail address? I would be honored to share something that hangs on my wall that is very precious to me. You will understand. Thank you for sharing about a Mother’s love with her son and the “strung happiness.”
    As always, with deep appreciation and much love, Rhoda Thomas Harpur

  3. Beauty!!! Thank you 😊

    Elizabeth W. Krasnoff, PhD(c), MIM
    Intuitive Counselor | Sound Practitioner
    California Institute of Integral Studies

  4. Stunning! The garland. The photos. The window. I was hoping you would write about this and explain how it all came about. My chiropractor told me a while back to buy citrus candles and citrus oils because they’re mood-elevators. Clearly, you are on to this secret! Citrus sweetness and tang smells divine. What a joyful post. Thanks!

    • Dear Steph, oh did I think of you when we were making these garlands and with this piece! I love now knowing what your chiropractor shared with you. It does feel like creating sunshine in our home—definite mood-elevators! Thanks ever so much for connecting, Steph, and for sharing your own creative journey. You are such an inspiration! xox

  5. Oh Dawn, thank you for sharing this. Come spring, I’ll have mine up! I appreciate the directions and bloopers too. Enjoy your garland. May it bring you hours of calm and inspirations.

    • Dear Carmen, I am so grateful to know this resonated with you. I can just see you creating beauty in your own beautiful world! Please do send photos. I’d just love. Yes, inspires calm and inspiration. Each morning greets me with joy. xoxo

  6. Dawn, they look marvellous – but…
    FOOD! Think of all the vitamin D in them that lots of kids who cannot afford to eat healthily would need. I don’t want to ruin ANY of what you do – but masses of kids all over the place (also in the US, and UK etc) do not get enough food, let alone healthy food. I’m sure you do what you can – but food is not for playing. I remember my and my mom’s reaction in 1946, just after the war, when my teacher asked each kid to bring a boiled potato to school, to an arts class, to use as glue (of course ordinary glue was completely unavailable, for years). Potatoes are for eating, food is sacred…. I still think so…
    love to you, wonderful friend, Tove

    • Dearest Tove, and of course you are RIGHT! Thank you and thank you for connecting with me on all here. I am especially moved by your experiences with your mom, teacher, and the potato. Thanks so much for sharing this powerful and poignant experience. Will now be with me forever. This made me think of the piece, “Papas Nativas” in Emergence Magazine (https://emergencemagazine.org/story/papas-nativas/) on the sacred connection of food.
      Much love to you always, my dear friend,

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