Make a beau­ti­ful mid­sum­mer wreath

Cel­e­brate the best of the gar­den with this gor­geous flo­ral trib­ute from Katie Smyth and Terri Chan­dler.

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Sum­mer is most florists’ favourite time of year. We can’t go any­where with­out star­ing into gar­dens burst­ing with flow­ers and hav­ing an urge to pick them all! So what bet­ter way to cel­e­brate mid­sum­mer and wel­come warmer months than with a fresh flo­ral wreath?

This is one of the best times of year for flow­ers – this is peak sea­son and there’s a won­der­ful se­lec­tion to choose from. This wreath epit­o­mises sum­mer­time and is one that you will want to show off. It would look strik­ing hang­ing on a front door, but it would also be just as im­pres­sive hang­ing above a man­tel­piece.

For a mid­sum­mer party, you could lay your wreath flat on the ta­ble, per­haps even with a can­dle in it to create a sea­sonal cen­tre­piece. This is a great project if you have a gar­den that you can take a real mix of cut­tings from to per­son­alise your de­sign. As the base for this wreath is made out of flo­ral foam, fresh flow­ers will last for quite a while. Just re­mem­ber to keep the foam wet by spray­ing it reg­u­larly with a water spritzer.

You will need: 1 plas­tic-backed flo­ral foam base in a ring shape, 36cm (14½in) in di­am­e­ter; 2– 3 buck­ets; florist's scis­sors; nail or hook for hang­ing, if re­quired; flow­ers and fo­liage: we used: 5 stems of white achil­lea, 2 stems of wild al­lium, 2 stems of pink an­thurium, 1 stem of artichoke, 3 stems of cone­flower, 4 stems white cos­mos, 2 stems pink cos­mos, 3 stems of yel­low cos­mos, 6 stems of co­toneaster fo­liage, 4 stems gera­nium fo­liage, 2 stems of lisianthus, 7 poppy pods, 2 stems of red-hot poker, 3 stems of scabiosa, 3 stems of strawflower, 2 stems of wax flower, 10 wild grasses (var­i­ous).

Step 1

Soak your flo­ral foam. Sort your flow­ers, in their buck­ets, into colour fam­i­lies, and fo­liage and grasses. Se­lect an eye- catch­ing bloom from each colour and trim the stems di­ag­o­nally to 15cm (6in). Insert into the foam – pink and red on one side and yel­low and orange on the other.

Step 2

Place a large white flower in be­tween to break up the hot colours. Set aside some of the longer­stemmed flow­ers and fo­liage. Cut the re­main­ing flower stems di­ag­o­nally to about 8cm (3in), with around 4cm (1.2 / 2 in) in­serted into the foam. Cut a few at a time so the rest stay in the water.

Step 3

Build up the wreath by plac­ing the smaller flow­ers into their re­spec­tive colour groups. Use fo­liage with dif­fer­ent tex­tures around them, and vary the stem lengths. If you are us­ing mostly fo­liage, cover the base first and place the flow­ers in at the end.

Step 4

Con­tinue to work your way around the wreath, build­ing the colour in each sec­tion un­til the colour them­ing be­comes more ap­par­ent. Make sure you con­tinue to use a mix of fo­liage and flow­ers to cover the base and keep your wreath bal­anced.

Step 5

Once the base is cov­ered and you can’t see any of the flo­ral foam, you can start to make the wreath look a lit­tle more wild. Insert longer­stemmed flow­ers and fo­liage of vary­ing lengths into the top and sides. If you are hang­ing your wreath, be sure the fix­ings are sturdy.

This ex­tract is taken from Wreaths: Fresh, For­aged & Dried Flo­ral Ar­range­ments, by Terri Chan­dler and Katie Smyth. Pub­lished by Quadrille (rrp £14.99).

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