(Artemisia arborescens x absinthium)
Fragrant, abundant, easy to work
with; this crafter's plant fills every requirement. Powis Castle
drought resistant, but looks better and blooms more when watered
regularly. It likes full sun and good drainage and will remain evergreen. It never has to be pruned, but can be cut for shape or craft
anytime. When pruning, make sure to leave plenty of gray
leaves showing, cutting to the ground may kill the plant. Harvest leaf
clusters anytime and flowers before they brown.
Hardy in Zones 7-11, Powis Castle can be grown in a pot, if necessary, and over wintered in a
bright window. Because the goal is to provide lots of cuttings for crafts,
give each plant at least a gallon of soil the first year and an additional gallon
each year. When the pot size becomes unwieldy, root prune and
repot with fresh soil.
Big and bold and tougher than other Baby's Breaths, but
still with clouds and clouds of dainty blooms, best describes this
perennial species of Baby's Breath. Bloom starts in mid summer and
continues until frost. Hardy in Zones 4-11, Manchurian Baby's Breath dies
back to the ground each winter, but returns each spring. Flowers should be harvested before any browning
occurs. They can be dried fresh in an arrangement or hung upside down to
dry for later use.
Baby's Breath looks great planted with Purple
Statice, Tricolor Sage,
Roses of any kind, and pink flowering ornamental oreganos, like Showy Pink
Oregano. Because the stems of Baby's Breath are barren, it should
be placed behind
The colorful bracts are what remain when Statice
is dried. Used fresh or dried, Statice helps to pull a wreath or an
arrangement closer. It adds that final touch of color that makes the bouquet
complete. To dry, hang upside down or leave right side
up in a vase. Make sure to cut flower stems that show no browning flowers
or bracts. Statice grows
very quickly and will bloom the first year if planted early in spring. It
can be brought in for the winter in cold winter areas, or, because it grows well in one season,
grown as an annual. Midnight Blue and American Beauty Rose Statice are
shown on the left.
Midnight Blue is usually included in the Crafter's Herb Garden Six Pack.
HIDCOTE GIANT LAVENDER
(Lavandula x intermedia):
This brightly colored Lavender makes an
excellent cut and dried flower. Hardy in Zones 5-11, Hidcote Giant
Lavender is profuse
bloomer that grows to about three feet by three feet. Harvest when about a
third of the wand has opened its flowers. Like all Lavenders, Hidcote
needs to be pruned for shape after bloom. Do this by cutting beyond the
flower spike two to three inches into the leaves. It is never a good idea
to prune into wood with no leaves. Avoid hard pruning in high heat.
Not very tasty, but absolutely perfect for crafts; this
petit oregano is graced with long wands of true pink flowers perfect for
accenting any wreath or arrangement. Hardy in Zones 7-11, it too
can be over wintered in a sunny window if necessary. Cut the flowers
before the bracts start to brown. Use the flowers fresh
or stand in a dry vase for later use. For a darker pink dried flower, try
Marshall's Memory Oregano.
CARROUSEL MINIATURE ROSE
Covered with hundreds of perfect miniature
versions of a full size rose, Magic Carrousel Rose will grow to about four feet
by four feet. It benefits from pruning about half its height back in the
fall. The buds are a bicolor pink and dark pink that fade to pink and
white. Hardy in Zones 5-11, this wondrous rose starts blooming in late spring
and continues off and on until frost. Harvest fully formed buds or just
opened flowers, individually or in stem clusters for the best effect.
Using fresh herbs is an easy
quick way to make decorative arrangements like our wreath above. You can
take our online wreath making class, Wreath
Making 1 2 3, and see for yourself. You can also use your herbs for dried
arrangements, wreaths, swags and other crafty projects. Here are a few
pointers for drying your herbs.
1. Gather herbs before it gets hot. Cut the
stems on the long side.
2. Tie in small bundles of 3-4 stems, so that can be easily separated
3. If there are flower heads with small or wimpy stems, wire them with a
floral pick and hang the picks.
4. Hang in a warm, dry place that is not in direct sunlight.
5. Take them down as soon as they are crispy.
6. Shake GENTLY before storing.
7. Store in a box with tissue separating layers.
If you have a lot of different colors, store all one hue in a box
8. Put where it will be safe from mice or other pests.
Wreath Making and Flower Arranging are not the only craft
projects you can use your herbs for. Incorporate dropped petals or small pieces into a
bar of soap or maybe make a candle.
Soap Making is enjoying a resurgence and while adding your bits and pieces
of herbs makes them pretty, essential oil is what makes them smell
is a great source for Wreath Bases. Straw wreaths come in 24, 18, 14, 12 and 10-inch
diameters, and grapevine wreaths in 8, 10 and 18-inch diameters. After you click on the
hyperlink above, type in Straw Wreaths or Grapevine Wreaths in the search
For other wreath making supplies, like greening
pins, floral tape, flower picks and wire try
BOOKS ON THIS SUBJECT:
by Joanna Sheen
by Carol Taylor
by Richard Kollath
Book of Dried Flowers
by Malcolm Hillier
by Malcolm Hillier
Complete Book of Wreaths
by Chris Rankin
The Pleasure of Herbs
by Phyllis Shaudys