In this first set of examples, all start with a length of cotton string in which a loop of an appropriate size is tied to a connector. I use a 3/8" dowel rod to get a consistent size. It's important to use a square (reef) knot rather than a slip knot.
This knot serves as an anchor of sorts, to prevent the connection from pulling through, and its loose ends are used to make a whipping knot around the cord ends. For a west country whipping, it helps to secure the cord ends in a clip while you work.
Example (A) is a variation on the west country whipping. It's easy, fast, and secure. The downside is that it leaves a bulky knot where it's finished (with a square knot). This occasionally slows down the opening of the garland, as it can briefly hang up on other connections. You can trim its end strings quite close to the knot. I've yet to see one unravel, even after a couple years of wear.
Example (B) uses a common whipping. It has a nice low profile, but it's much less secure than the west country style. With wear, it will unravel. One solution is to paint the knot. Fabric paint works well. I used rubber paint in example (C).
In this second series of examples, each uses 24 gauge brass wire to create a connection and its anchor. Rather than forming a knot or corkscrew shape from the wire, to serve as an anchor, the wire can be pushed through the cords and bent to form a connection loop. It has several advantages over a cotton loop. It's unlikely to ever wear through, forms a narrower joint, and can help reduce the number of split rings in the garland, which occasionally cause snags.
Example (D) shows a standard common whipping around a brass wire connection. Example (E) is the same connection wrapped in linerless rubber electrical tape. I'm still testing this tape's feasibility. It's easy to apply and holds up to the juice without coming loose. The only downsides are that it adds weight and a little bulk, and when dry, can stick to other rubber tape connections.
Example (F) shows a variation on a common whipping that foregoes the traditional initial series of wrappings around the pull-through end of string. Example (G) is the same type of connection, dipped in rubber paint. I used a toothpick to clear the eyelet before the paint dried.