How to make a summer wreath

How to make a summer wreath

I love wreaths and I like them so much I don't just want them at Christmas. I love them full of Harvest Festival stuff in the autumn and I love them perhaps best of all when the garden is full of abundance in the summer.

We've got people coming to supper tonight and I thought I'd go to town. Obviously you don't need to make one as big as this - I like big things and I have plenty of space here on the farm so I'm lucky - I've used a big base but you can go a fraction of the size of this. This has been soaked for ten minutes in a bath of water. You don't want to drown it, you just plop it in the water a little then sink it down a bit and that's exactly what you want otherwise you get air pockets.

I'm just going to talk you through the ingredients in the wreath and this wreath took about 45 or 50 minutes to make. I started off by covering the oasis with Euphorbia oblongata then I added a mix of two silvery things. I've got Eryngium gianteum ‘Miss Wilmott’s Ghost’ which I absolutely love in June and July and I've got another euphorbia in here called Euphorbia lathyrus or the Caper spurge. I have cheated a bit and added a fourth foliage which looks almost like an olive but that's actually Elaeagnus ‘Quicksilver’, one of my favourite small trees or large shrubs. So that's the foliage I’ve used and it covers the oasis really abundantly so you can hardly see it.

Next I add my flowers. I have used Antirrhinum ‘White Giant’ as what I call my ‘bride’ or the main points of the bunch – i.e. the dominant thing that gives you blocks of colour. Then I've got Ammi majus which is white but much more airy and delicate - that's what I call my ‘bridesmaid’. Then I've got Nicotiana ‘Lime Green’, and the lovely bright vivid plateau green of this tobacco flower makes it my ‘gate-crasher’. A gate-crasher is a bit of colour contrast and I don’t want too much contrast here – I want this to be quite a serene, calming colour, it’s not one of the rich Venetian style wreaths, this is all about serenity.

Finally, just to make it a bit more messy, I've added this opium poppy seed head and I'm just going to add more of those all the way around to make it a little bit more relaxed, even more abundant and even more messy. You can have some coming out at angles and you can cut some quite long and cut some shorter to add informality right the way through the arrangement.

Happy gardening,

Sarah

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