1.Gather a wheelbarrow full of 6-inch-long garden trimmings. Some suggestions for foliage are juniper, oak, asparagus fern, bay laurel, camellia, dusty miller and citrus.
2.Lay a 10-foot length of string or twine on a large, flat surface.
3.Make a loop in one end of the string.
4.Attach #24 floral wire (sometimes called paddle wire) to the loop end of the twine.
5.Select several stems of the 6-inch foliage pieces and place them together in a bunch, with the stems at one end. You can mix different kinds of foliage in one bundle.
6.Place the bundle of foliage at the loop end of the twine with the stems pointing toward the long end of the string.
7.Wrap the floral wire around the stems and twine to secure them in place. You will need two hands for this; one will hold the foliage in place against the string, and the other will wrap the wire.
8.Wrap the floral wire around the bundle twice and then pull it tight. Make sure to leave the wire attached to the twine, because you still have a long way to go.
9.Gather another bundle of foliage and lay it so that the stems overlap with the first bunch and cover the stems. Make sure that the stems on both bunches are facing the same direction.
10.Continue overlapping the bunches of foliage and wiring them to the twine until you run out of string.
11.When you finally do run out of string, twist the wire tightly around the last bundle, knot the wire and the string together, leave 1 foot of wire (to attach the swag where you want it) and cut the wire with scissors or pruning shears.
Cover the finished end with a ribbon or raffia bow.
If you need the swag to be longer than 10 feet, you can wire two completed swags together.
Add interest to your swag by alternating chilies, kumquats, dried fall leaves, dried flowers or small fruit between the bundles of foliage.
Warnings: This is a dirty job! Work over newspaper and have plenty of soap and water ready to clean your hands when you are done.