Astar's Craft: A Wintery Floral Wreath
In celebration of the shortest day - the winter
A Wintery Floral Wreath
I love a good celebration and tomorrow is one of my favourites. Yes, it might be winter, but tomorrow heralds the shortest day and things can only improve. The days will start to get lighter and soon it will be spring again. I'm having a dinner to celebrate the winter solstice and what could be more appropriate to grace the center of my table than a wreath... which represents the continuing circle of life.
Things to gather
Green oasis wreath frame in a size to suit. You'll have to buy this from the flower wholesaler. If you can, buy one that has a plastic tray.
4 white candles - you can buy these from Spotlight
1 x deck of white standard carnations
Handful or two of wet green moss. I purchased mine from the flower wholesaler, but if you have a damp area under trees in your garden you might find some there.
Selection of grey succulents - the ones that look like roses and have red or pink edges (sorry but I can't remember their correct name!)
Long lengths of fresh ivy.
20 gauge wire or old fashioned hair pins. The wire or pins will be used to hold moss and ivy in place.
Sharp knife and floral snips
Soak the wreath frame in water until the bubbles stop rising to the surface.
Place it on a towel to absorb excess moisture.
Divide wreath into 4 equal sections. Place a toothpick into each section.
Take long lengths of ivy and wrap this around outer edge of wreath - pinning to hold in place with wire/clips.
Take the sharp knife and cut to make square the base end of the candles. This is the best way of securing your candle firmly so that it doesn't wobble.
Insert candles into each marked section of wreath, then discard toothpicks.
Place a nice layer of moss to cover foam on top portion of wreath.
Now - divide all flowers and succulents into groups of four.
Cut all stems of carnations short so that when grouped around each candle the heads rest down on top of moss. You might like to keep some a little longer, so that they come up a little higher.
Cluster group the succulents in various sizes beside the carnations. To make insertion easier, carefully push a toothpick up the stem - or wire- but you have to be careful as sometimes the stems break.
Once finished mist with water to keep fresh.
To further enhance your finished design, use a footed cake stand to elevate
In the language of flowers
Ivy represents - immortality
A custom long since gone from Pagan days, involved the practice on New Year's Eve, to place an ivy leaf in a bowl of water and was left, untouched until Twelfth Night. If the leaf remained fresh this for told a happy year to follow.
A bunch of ivy on a pole was one of the first inn signs. This custom gave rise to the saying 'a good wine needs no bush'. Suggesting that the reputation should be good enough without further advertisement.
The white carnations - astrologically are under the dominion of Jupiter. Symbol of divine love, fascination and a woman's love.
Legend also has it that the pink carnation is a symbol of mother love. The flowers are said to have first appeared on earth when Mary's tears fell to the ground on her agonising walk to Calvary.
First introduced into England during the Norman Conquest. It is said that the seeds were lodged in the stone blocks they brought with them.
The flower, with its spicy flavor, was used in drinks and an early name was - sop-in-wine.
(Broadcast 19 June 2012)