Make a Foliage and Berry Wreath by Hand
This lovely, natural-looking autumnal wired wreath of complementary and harmonious colors actually includes some dyed leaves to give the best effect. The dye almost preserves the fresh leaves so they don't turn dry and brittle. Be careful where you place the wreath, though, as dyed foliage can stain paintwork it gets wet.
The base of the wreath is built up with moss, which is a better option than floral foam. It is lighter and has more depth at the side to attach the foliage. As with all arrangements, turn the wire frame around as you pack in the moss so that the section you work on is always in front of you.
This arrangement should last for two weeks.
Flowers and Foliage
12 dyed beech stems
4 dyed eucalyptus stems
12 miniature hebe stems
12 dyed oak leaf stems
8 pepper berry sprays
1 large bag sphagnum moss
12 rosemary sprigs
8 unripe blackberry sprays
wire wreath frame (12 inches in diameter) from a florist
1 ball of garden string
22 gauge wire
Berried ivy, natural eucalyptus, silvery eucalyptus pods, wired apples, hypericum, pine, salal (for any of the flowers and foliage)
How to Arrange
1. Prepare the foliage: cut the stems down to 5-6 inches or so and strip the leaves off the lower 1 inch of each stem (image 1).
2. Position the wire frame so the larger ring lies below the smaller ring. Tie the ball of string onto the wire frame at any point and secure it in a knot (image 2).
3. Take a large handful of moss, tease it apart slightly and pack it in between the two rings in a rounded shape. Gather up loose ends as you press the moss into place, then wind the string diagonally around it to keep it in place. Repeat until the frame is covered (image 2).
4. Trim the moss with scissors. Cut the string, leaving a length of about 16 inches still attached to the wreath. Make a loop in the string 4 inches from the attached end. Hold the loop in one hand and the tail end in the other and cross them over under the wreath. Bring them backup above the wreath and tie them in a knot. Trim the loose ends (image 3).
How to Arrange, Continued
5. If you want to hang the finished wreath, feel for the edge of the frame with your fingers and insert a length of thick wire into the moss, under the frame at an angle, and out the other side. Bring the ends together to make a loop, twist one length of wire around the other, trim the ends and hide the twisted ends inside the moss. Holding the loop, twist the wreath around twice in the same direction to tighten the base of the loop (image 1).
6. Tie the ball of string back onto the wreath at any point. Place three to four beech leaf stems on top of the moss and wrap string tightly over the stems to secure them to the wreath (image 2).
7. Turn the wreath around slightly and place a stem of hebe partly over the oak leaves to create a staggered effect. Secure it in place with the string (image 2).
8. Add each of the ingredients in turn, placing small bunches of foliage on the sides and top of the moss. Stagger each group of foliage and turn the wreath as you work (image 3).
9. When you have added enough foliage to give a well-balanced look, tie off the string in the same way as before: make a double loop, tuck one loop under the wreath and tie the two single loops together securely (image 3).
10. If you spot any gaps in the wreath, or it looks slightly unbalanced in parts, tuck a few pieces of woody-stemmed foliage such as rosemary and hebe in under the string to even it out. Tie the ribbon in a bow and attach it to the frame, if you decide to use a bow (image 3).