The Crafters Herb Garden

 

POWIS CASTLE
ARTEMISIA

 

 

HIDCOTE GIANT
LAVENDER

 

 

MANCHURIAN 
BABY'S BREATH

SHOWY PINK
OREGANO

 

 

MIDNIGHT BLUE
STATICE

MAGIC CARROUSEL
MINIATURE ROSE

 

Crafting with Herbs is one of the great rewards for growing a bountiful Herb Garden. Herbs are the perfect instruments for creating wreaths, arrangements, soaps, candles, and paper. All of these can be created with just a few simple herbs from your garden. Below are six of our favorite crafting herbs.

 

Powis Castle leaves add texture and aroma to wreaths!

POWIS CASTLE ARTEMISIA
(Artemisia arborescens x absinthium)

Fragrant, abundant, easy to work with; this crafter's plant fills every requirement. Powis Castle Artemisia is 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.

 

What arrangement would be complete without Baby's Breath?

MANCHURIAN BABY'S BREATH
(Gypsophylla oldhamiana):

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 other plants. 

 

Midnight Blue and American Rose Statice

STATICE
(Limonium sinuata):

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.
 

Dutch Mill Lavender has a brightness that makes it perfect for crafts.

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 Giant 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.

 

SHOWY PINK OREGANO
(Origanum Sipyleum):

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.

Magic Carrousel Rose makes perfect rose buds!

MAGIC CARROUSEL MINIATURE ROSE
(Rosa cv.)

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 later.
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 together.
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 good. 

 

Joann's 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 box.

For other wreath making supplies, like greening pins, floral tape, flower picks and wire try AFloral.com

 

BOOKS ON THIS SUBJECT:
Dried Flower Gardening
by Joanna Sheen

Herbal Wreaths
by Carol Taylor

Wreaths  
by Richard Kollath

The Book of Dried Flowers 
by Malcolm Hillier

Flowers
by Malcolm Hillier

The Complete Book of Wreaths
by Chris Rankin

The Pleasure of Herbs
by Phyllis Shaudys

 

Crafter's Herb Garden Six Pack Zones 8-11

$32.95

Quantity

 

Substitutions in all of our Herb Garden Six Packs are made with appropriate plants when necessary.

 
 

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