The Crafters Herb Garden

 

 

 

WORMWOOD

 

ABRIALII LAVENDER

 

 

BEE BALM

JUDY FISCHER
MINIATURE ROSE

 

 

LAMB'S EARS

TANSY

 

 

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.

 

WORMWOOD
(Artemisia absinthium)

Wormwood is an ancient herb with many medicinal and culinary properties. But for our purposes we like the elongated flowering stems for crafting. This is a young plant with only a few stems. But, as the plants age, they produce more and more stems. Cut the stems before or right after the flower buds pop out. Cut stems about 10 inches long. We want the fresh pliable growth like those pictured. If you wait too long, the stems become woody and harder to work with.

Plant Wormwood with lots of room to spread out in full sun where the soil drains well. It will die back in the winter so mark where you plant it.

 

ABRIALI LAVENDER
(Lavandula x intermedia)

This dark purple flowered lavender provides loads of fragrant flower wands for wreaths and arrangements
. Abrialii Lavender has proven itself to be a reliable, carefree lavender in our garden.

Harvest when about a third of the wand has opened its flowers. Like all Lavenders, Abrialli  needs to be pruned for shape after bloom. You can do this by cutting beyond the flower spike two to three inches into the leaves when you harvest the flower wands for your crafting. It is never a good idea to prune into wood with no leaves. Avoid hard pruning in high heat.

BEE BALM
(Monarda didyma):
Bee Balm comes in many different shades of pink and red. Monarda fistulosa is a brilliant purple. They all add interest to the crafting garden. While Bee Balms like 5 or 6 hours of sun each day in really hot climates they will need more water.

Flowers should be cut before the petals start to brown. If you wait too long, the resulting empty pod is also interesting in an arrangement.

 

JUDY FISCHER MINIATURE ROSE
(Rosa cv.):

Almost any miniature rose can add highlights to a wreath. Judy Fischer is one of our favorites because it has almost perfectly formed buds. Cut the roses just as they start to open. Be sure to cut three or four inches of the stem below the flower. We usually attach these stems to floral picks so the roses can be inserted into the wreath base exactly where we want them.

Roses grow best when fertilized on a regular basis with all purpose organic fertilizer.

LAMB'S EARS
(Stachys lanata)
These elongated stems are preparing for bloom. Both Lamb's Ears stems and flowers are beautiful used in fresh herbal crafts. These large, textured leaves help to highlight other more colorful flowers.

Lamb's Ears are easy to grow but like to "walk" around the garden. We just let them do what they want and we always have nice stands of them. Full sun is a must. Watch the water. Like most hairy plants too much water can cause them to rot.

TANSY
(Tanacetum vulgare)

Tansy is one of the most carefree of all herbs. We love having it sprawl around in the garden lighting it up with mountains of little yellow bottle cap flowers.

Tansy is a herbaceous herb that sprouts up in spring with lots of ferny, dark green leaves. The flowers come and go almost all summer.

Be sure to cut the flowers before any browning shows. Cut plenty of stem so they can be combined with other stems in the vase or wreath.

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 for zones 5-11

$32.95

Quantity

 

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

 
 

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