Cre­ative wreaths z MAKE YOUR OWN

Flo­ral wreaths are ideal for wed­dings and spe­cial events, or for when you sim­ply want to spoil your­self.

NZ Gardener - 365 Days of Flowers - - Crafts & Gifts -

Aflo­ral foam wreath base is ideal for fresh flow­ers. Im­merse the foam in a large bucket of water un­til no more bub­bles rise up and the foam is soaked through. A wire frame with moss is typ­i­cally used for dried wreaths.

DRIED FLOWER WREATH

A dried flower wreath makes a ter­rific dis­play at any time of the year. Here, the colours are vi­brant, mak­ing the wreath look al­most fresh. Stat­ice and strawflow­ers keep their colours well when dried, as do the seed­heads of love-in-a-mist.

To make the base, bind sphag­num moss to a wire frame with green string. Keep the moss com­pact and of equal thick­ness all around. Be­gin dec­o­rat­ing your wreath by in­sert­ing any fo­liage and, in this case, pine cones, first, then add your flow­ers (in­clud­ing faux flow­ers) and seed­heads. Rose­hips, wheat and other grasses work well in dried ar­range­ments, adding in­ter­est­ing tex­ture. The pine cones will need to be wired in place with flo­ral wire. Ro­tate the wreath as you work to en­sure the flow­ers are even all around. Add a raf­fia bow or tie a rib­bon in place to fin­ish it off.

MAKE A WREATH LAST

For a wreath that lasts year round, craft a per­ma­nent base, add ev­er­last­ing em­bel­lish­ments, and swap out fresh flow­ers from time to time.

Fash­ion a base out of wil­low or gar­den prun­ings (grapevine and wis­te­ria are suit­able) just af­ter cut­ting when the stems are pli­able and easy to bend. Twist larger stems into a cir­cle, weav­ing them around one another and bind­ing the ends with wire, string or flo­ral tape. Wrap smaller stems around the larger ones, leav­ing small, wispy ten­drils un­se­cured to give a rus­tic ef­fect. Leave the wreath base to dry and stiffen. This base will last in­def­i­nitely.

Add your per­ma­nent em­bel­lish­ments. But­ter­flies or flow­ers cut from flo­ral pa­per can be glued to the base. Or use faux flow­ers and ber­ries. Long-last­ing ev­er­greens like eucalyptus, pine or ivy can be at­tached too.

Add fresh flow­ers as they come into sea­son. Small water vials can be wired to the base and flower stems in­serted into these to keep flow­ers fresh. Hide the vials with fo­liage or per­ma­nent em­bel­lish­ments. Swap out the flow­ers for fresh ones as they fade.

MAKE A HALF WREATH

This gor­geous half wreath in­cor­po­rates flow­ers at the bot­tom only, and it's right on trend. Make your wed­ding or birth­day cel­e­bra­tion whole with a half wreath.

To be­gin, choose your base – a twine wreath, or even an old em­broi­dery hoop is ideal. Square, rec­tan­gle or tri­an­gle frames can be used too.

Cut a piece of flo­ral foam into a nar­row curve to match the curve of your wreath (or the shape you are us­ing). It doesn't need to be too large – just big enough to hold the short flower stems. If it's too large it will stand out. Soak the foam in cold water, then at­tach it to the bot­tom of the wreath us­ing flo­ral tape.

Wind ivy stems (or other vin­ing fo­liage) around the wreath, leav­ing the ends to trail at the bot­tom.

Cut rose stems short and insert them into the flo­ral foam. As roses have strong stems there is no need to wire them be­fore in­sert­ing, but if us­ing flow­ers with del­i­cate or soft stems, like freesias, sweet peas and anemones, wire them with flo­ral wire be­fore in­sert­ing them into the foam. It's best to use flow­ers in odd num­bers to make the de­sign more aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing.

Hang the wreath and stand back to view it to en­sure noth­ing is lop­sided and that the flow­ers are se­cure. Make any ad­just­ments nec­es­sary and you're done!

SPRING BLOS­SOMS

Con­trast is what makes this spring wreath look mag­i­cal. Fash­ioned from the blos­soms and fo­liage of an ap­ple tree and flow­er­ing sprigs of thyme, the de­sign stands out bril­liantly against the white trunk of a birch tree. Malus trees, which in­clude both ap­ples and crabap­ples, pro­vide dec­o­ra­tive fruit in au­tumn, which can also be in­cor­po­rated into wreaths. Wire them first be­fore at­tach­ing.

MIXED BOU­QUET

Mix fresh blooms with dried flow­ers and grasses for a long-last­ing bou­quet. Here, fever­few, veron­ica and sea holly (eryn­gium) min­gle with stat­ice and grass seed­heads. This bou­quet would dry well as a whole. Hang it up­side down in a warm, dry, dark place for a cou­ple of weeks un­til the flow­ers be­come crisp to touch. A flo­ral spray paint can be used on flow­ers that lose their colour dur­ing dry­ing.

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