Yesterday I spent the afternoon at the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens. Nursery Manager, Bruce Reed, shared his wealth of knowledge with us–teaching us how to make our own succulent wreath. I’ve admired these creations for years and was very happy to learn how to craft one myself.
I’ll break it down for you in case you’d like to make one too.
First you need to get some sphagnum moss. Make sure it’s not milled sphagnum moss. Place large handfuls of it in a tub of water. This water-soaked moss will become the hydration source for the succulents as well as the canvas for the “art” of the plant placement.
Next you need 2 wire frames (see them in the background behind the tub of moss and water). Bruce says you can get them at Michael’s. Line one of the frames with lots of soggy moss. Make sure it’s even consistency in height and width. Don’t be stingy with the moss.
Then add soil in the middle of the moss ring…this will be where the succulents will eventually create their roots.
After you’ve placed a consistent amount of dirt on the moss, add a second layer of soggy moss. Again, your goal is an even width and height. You need quite a bit of moss-remember this will provide moisture to your plants.
Place the second wire frame over the top layer of moss.
Wrapping green thin wire (I think Bruce called it Florist Wire) ,again available at Michaels, around the ring helps to hold the moss/dirt/moss together. It also provides the structure for suspending the wreath upon completion.
Your base is complete! Now comes the fun part–adding in succulents!
I harvested quite a few samples from my garden as well as my neighbor’s. Bruce offered some of the Garden’s succulents. It is astounding how many sizes, textures, shapes, colors, smells there are in the succulent arena. Who knew?
They can then be secured with a florist pin. Bruce suggests starting with the largest plants first, then fill in with smaller specimens.
It takes a week or so for the succulents to root in–during this time they’re a little “precious” so handle them carefully.
You can hang them on a wall (preferably in indirect light or partial shade). They also look really nice on an outdoor table–they make a lovely surround for a large candle. Wreaths can range from petite to huge. I made a medium-sized one. The whole process took about 2.5 hours.
Since the wreath is living, it needs care. Water it as needed and occasional prune to keep it from getting out of control.
Here are the finished products. Jean (I apologize if I got your name wrong–I’m really bad with remembering names) is holding her creation. Beautiful!
Jean took the photo of me and my wreath. Note the cozy sweater, polar vest and scarf I am wearing! It’s June and we are enjoying a freak VERY late rain. I actually had to turn on the furnace! I’m not complaining though–we will take this lovely rain with gratitude! Melissa, check out the lipstick–it’s the one we got at MAC for the auction–love it!
My wreath is now hanging proudly on the front wall of our home. Check it out the next time you visit.
No new recipes of the week, but I do have 2 food items to bring you:
If you live near a Trader Joes, you must try this decadent bar of everything that is good in the world.
If you don’t live near a Trader Joes, well, I feel sorry for you.
I’m just sayin’.
Second, Dennis and I went to Ruth’s Chris Steak House. I had the Harvest Salad. Here are the ingredients: Mixed greens with roasted corn, dried cherries, crispy bacon and tomatoes in a white balsamic vinaigrette, topped with goat cheese and Cajun pecans. Frankly, they had me at “dried cherries”…add in bacon and goat cheese…I’m a fan for life!
My photo really doesn’t do the salad any justice. I recommend checking out their website for a better shot. And if you ever go to Ruth’s Chris, definitely check it out.
Well, that’s a wrap for CDNPEARLY. Let me know if you try the Chocolate or the Harvest Salad. Reviews are always welcome here.