Christmas crown


Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you have a safe and happy holiday. Best wishes for a happy New Year! A Christmas crown from Walk in Love.

Table wreath


A beautiful table wreath for any occasion, though with its pinecones and berries it makes a gorgeous centrepiece for the Christmas table. From The Real Flower Company.

Sweet Living Issue 7

SL07-Cover 460Flower wreath with lavender
Take a look at free online magazine Sweet Living’s latest issue. As well as the usual suspects – crafts, DIYs, sweet treats and free printables – there are tips on growing plants in wicker baskets, which tomatoes have the highest antioxidants (according to research by the Central Tree Crops Research Trust, assisted by Plant and Food Research in New Zealand), and some wreath and table flower ideas.


Make a floral wreath

Elegance flower GarlandRose wreathThyme wreathHosting a dinner party? Impress your guests with a homemade floral wreath. They’re a breeze to make. All you need is your base – a floral foam wreath or a wire frame with sphagnum moss – and your flowers.

Soak the foam in cold water then attach florist’s wire or ribbon (for hanging) before securing the flowers.

Insert any leaves first then, rotating the wreath, add the clipped stems of flowers. Clip the stems on an angle for easy insertion. For flowers with thin stems, wrap florist’s wire around the stem to secure it and insert the end of the wire into the foam. Continue adding flowers until the wreath is full.

To keep flowers at their best for longer, place the foam in a large, shallow tub of water every day or so to renew its moisture level.

The bottom wreath (above) is made up of thyme foliage and flowers.

Come see me at Handmade!

pink ranunculus (persian buttercup) in glasses on the wood table
wreath springFlower centrepieceRanunculus in vase
If you’re in Wellington this weekend, drop in to Handmade 2013. It’s a festival celebrating beautiful and creative things – a place for people who want to learn the skills and crafts of previous generations but in today’s context, using modern technology and style.

I’m giving two workshops: braided rugs and fabric decoupage on furniture, plus a masterclass on Backyard to Bouquets: growing your own cut flowers and herbs for year-round supply, plus some floral designing and gardening recycling tips. The Masterclass is on Sunday.

Still time to get tickets. See more here.

DIY wreath

DIY wreath
DIY wreath
When you go to prune your grapevine this winter, don’t throw away the trimmings. Fashion them into wreaths and decorate with millet sprays (amaranthus – you can grow your own or buy them from pet stores) and faux flowers. Or if you grew everlasting flowers this year, use those instead. Check out more photos and step-by-step instructions for making this cute wreath here.

Summer flowers

Flower weath
Pick flowers from your garden and deliver a handcrafted bouquet to the hostess with the mostess. Or make a wreath for that special occasion. It’s simple! All you need is a floral foam wreath, which is available from florist shops or craft stores, and flowers. Wet the foam, poke holes in it with wire, then insert the flower stems into the holes. Whip it up a day or two before the big day and keep the foam moist and cool.

From Sweet Living magazine – a FREE online magazine. Check it out here.


Achillea head wreath

Head wreath
My achilleas are flowering their socks off right now (bottom photo). In fact they flower for a fair few months of the year. They’re a superb filler plant, being broad-shouldered, and their tiny flowers last a good two weeks in a vase. But achilleas are vigorous perennials, with a tendency to bowl over less vigorous plants in the same bed. Give them their own contained bed and you’ll have fresh flowers for many months of the year.

Check out the simple head wreath (seen here at Loreta’s blog), which features daisies, chrysanthemums and purple achilleas. I have the daisies and the purple achilleas. I just need to find myself some deep purple chrysanths. Gorgeous!

Succulent wreath

Christmas wreath using succulents
I made this succulent wreath for a magazine shoot a few years back. Unlike fresh flowers, you can make this well in advance because succulents pretty much last forever (provided you give them the occasional water). All you need to make this wreath is chicken wire (shaped into a 3-D ring), sphagnum moss to line the ring, and free-draining succulent mix to fill it. Then it’s just a matter of poking the succulent cuttings into the wreath. Super easy.

Rustic wreath

Rustic wreath from Studio Choo
I do like this simple yet eye-catching rustic wreath. And I love that the girls at Studio Choo (via Design Sponge) have used it as an overgrown chandelier. They created it for Thanksgiving celebrations, but you can design a similar wreath for Christmas using red roses in place of peonies. All you need are a few pliable branches (lichen optional), colourful leaves and seed heads (amaranthus is ideal) and a couple of blooms for additional colour.