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 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.
(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 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
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.
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
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 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
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
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