Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thinking about how to do it . . .backwards and in front of people

Driving back from the Ashfield Christmas Fair today I have been pondering how
I can explain how I make my Christmas wreaths.
Back in the Spring I had a stall at Baldernock Garden Club's plant sale and was asked if I would come back before Christmas and do a wreath making demonstation - they were such lovely people and the sale had had such a great atmosphere that I found myself saying yes without actually thinking about how I would do it.
Now that the demonstration is about a week away I am having to think hard!

The fashion at the moment (if you believe home type magazines) is for door wreaths made with a ring of oasis as their base, you stick foliage into the wet oasis and then add in bits and pieces, cinnamon on wire or flowers. It is very quick and easy and everyflorist from Jane Packer for Debenhams to Moyses Stephens seems to have a rose version.

I use the very same handy oasis rings for table decorations with a hurricane vase and candles in the middle - what I don't understand is how they are using them vertically. The problem is that as a stem ages it shrinks - it becomes smaller than the hole in the oasis and it will fall out. This can be an issue with pew-end decorations made too far in advance which shed their flowers as people walk past. The other thing about oasis foam is that it can easily snap if there is any weight on it . . . sometimes I think that magazine flowers are only meant to last as long as the photoshoot.
The wreaths that we make are very traditional. They are based on a mossed ring which allows us to wire all the foliage and fruit right through. To give the whole thing stability we bind the mossed ring with wire and flexible birch twigs, then add in a layer of greenery and finally the fruit, cinnamon sticks, chillis, whatever. The back is then pinned with plastic and a burlap backing.
I have made a lot of these wreaths over the past few years, but never with an audience and never with the pressure of being reasonably tidy.
Sally is going to be coming along to the Baldernock Garden Club with me so I expect that I shall be relying a lot on her talent for organisation and her tact.


carolyn said...

The info about the oasis ring is really useful for us non florist types. I can't imagine anything much worse than making a beautiful wreath and it starting to fall to pieces as you hung it up! Well at least I know better now, thanks.

Jane said...

I took an oasis based table centre out of the car after a Fair on Friday and a bit of it snapped clean off - you live and learn!