Monday, April 11, 2011

A Succulent Spring

I came across these succulents while at my local garden center this weekend. Succulents make perfect plants for all of us, gardeners, weekend warriors or even those with less than green thumbs, because of their hardy nature they thrive in "poor conditions". So if you travel for work or occasionally forget to water, succulents are for you.  

I found the various mixes of succulents in the wreaths striking. So many endless combinations to consider.  

I loved the combination of a rosemary topiary surrounded at the base with succulents. Don't you love the weathered pot? For those of you with a green thumb, detailed below is  a "how to guide" should you wish to create your own wreath.

I should say that this wreath technique will work with a large variety of plants including impatients, succulents, herbs and pansies. I learned this  technique at my local garden center where I attended a “how to make a living wreath" class.  I recommend searching for these events in your community, as they are always fun and you meet lots of creative and fun people!

What You Will Need: Variety of Succulents, Wire Wreath Frame, Paddle Wire, Sphagnum Moss, Rooting Hormone and some patience!
·        Purchase a variety of succulents.  A couple of days before you will be building your wreath take cuttings from the plant.  The cuttings should be at least 4 inches long.  Don't worry when the stem "scars", i.e. turns brown.  It means you are ready to make your wreath. (Note: If using plants other than succulents, do not cut plants prior to making wreath).
·         Pull sphagnum moss from bag and place around wreath to see about how much you will need.  Add an additional mound (you will need this later to wrap around the plants.)  Place moss in a sink or a bucket of water until wet. 
·         Remove moss, pat lightly with paper towel and place moss gently into the frame.  The brown side of the moss should be facing up.
·         Dip the end of each cut plant into the rooting hormone.  You can purchase rooting hormone at most garden centers.
·         Place the plant on its side onto the frame and then cover the cut end with a new piece of moss.
·         Wrap the stem and moss with the paddle wire. Attach to the frame by wrapping wire around the frame.
·         Keep adding cuttings until you reach the end of the wreath.  Tie the final piece of wire to the frame.
·         Gently place the wreath into sink until it is just covered for about 10 minutes.  Remove and allow wreath to dry slightly before hanging the wreath. I say this from experience.  I once tried to hang a water logged wreath and it came crashing down!

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