Herb Crafting: A Living Wreath

Oh no !! It’s almost winter and you are already longing for some fresh herbs from your garden. You don’t have to wait until Spring to enjoy the taste and smell of fresh herbs. Why not make a living herbal wreath to keep you company this winter? It would also be the perfect gift for the gardener on your Christmas list. They are simple to make, require little care and will last for months. Living wreaths look especially nice as a centerpiece for the Holidays.

Here are the supplies you will need: A wire wreath base, a large plastic container just a little larger than the base, (you can use those clear plastic saucers you put under your pots), some sphagnum or sheet moss and herbs of choice. Fill the metal base with moss being careful not to pack it in too tightly. You need to leave room to tuck in the herbs. When you gather your herbs, try to get some roots so they will get a better start. Thyme (especially creeping varieties), rosemary, germander, mint and oregano will grow very well in the sphagnum medium. Once you have gathered your herbs, press the stem ends or roots into the moss as firmly as you can. You can either wind the herbs around the wreath, or simple tuck them in as you proceed around the base. Use the smaller, more pliable herbs first and the larger leafed varieties last. They are good for tucking in and covering up any bare spots.

Once you have the wreath to your satisfaction, fill the plastic saucer with water and set the wreath in it. You’ll need to check the wreath after a few hours to see if it absorbing the water. If it appears too dry, let it sit another hour. Too wet, pour off the excess water. Your wreath will benefit from frequent mistings and a once-a-week root watering. Be sure to add some fertilizer to your water once a month as the sphagnum will not supply the needed nutrients for your plants.

To decorate for the holidays simply place fresh flowers throughout the wreath, put a large candle in the center and you’ve created a delightful unusual centerpiece. You might want to decorate a plain candle with some pressed herbs or flowers to add to the centerpiece. To apply pressed items, use tacky glue that you have watered down. Paint the glue on the candle, lay the pressed item on top and allow to dry. When thoroughly dry, apply a thin layer of water and glue to the herb or flower to seal.

Keep an eye on your wreath over the winter months. You will need to prune back some of the herbs and replace those which don’t adapt to their new environment. Enjoy your creation and Think Herbs!!!

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