Make a beautiful midsummer wreath
Celebrate the best of the garden with this gorgeous floral tribute from Katie Smyth and Terri Chandler.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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). hadiegrant.com