Lesley & Barbara, the floristry tutors from Merrist Wood College visited in September to show us how to make Autumn Wreaths in very modern designs using up food that would otherwise be wasted. They also run floristry courses too at Merritt Wood College.
- They started with a bought oasis ring, which had been soaked overnight
- They added wire to bind leaves around, held on with dressmaker’s pins
- The materials were grouped together for interest.
- They used 2 BBQ skewers to hold larger objects, such as round cucumbers (or gourds), rotated with the striped in both orientations for interest.
- Other items used include cherry tomatoes, potatoes, hops, barley or anything seasonal.
- They placed objects in 5s and 3s.
- They added green & red foliage with stalks for extra colour.
- Flowers were cut (on a slant) & left in water for 2 hours before being used. Woody stems were split up up. If they might wilt, strip leaves off, then wrap flowers in newspaper & drop stem into boiling water for 30 secs, then cold water for 2 hours. Apparently this works wells for shrubs
- Bought lilac comes with shrub flower food – add this to the cold water
- If your stock does dry out, you can always use dried holly leaves to start fires!
- Table decoration included physalis (Chinese lanterns, which can be opened up), dried hydrangeas and wheat.
- Can use florist glue to stay on.
- Dried chilis were threaded together (like a necklace).
- Can start to decorate seasonally using what is around. This style of wreath is very popular in the US & Canada. In Williamsburg they decorate pineapple arches
They had also crocheted using wired wool cord (floristry cord with stiffener) to make coasters to go with it. They won a gold at Hampton Court with a Samba dancer’s costume with wings decorated with the leaves of Gosmainier House plants. They tested stamina by making 16 & 17 year olds come in at 6am (to practice for the Coventry Garden flower market)