Topiary Trees

Together with my friend and my sister, I recently attended a workshop run by Driftwood & Daisies to learn how to create a beautiful floral topiary tree arrangement. The session began with a demonstration from Jo and a cuppa before we were let loose to create.

To begin, the ball of oasis was positioned on top of the pole and marked lightly into quarters vertically and then in half horizontally.  These lines were the starting point to begin inserting small sprigs of foliage and lavender.

Once all the lines were complete, the next stage was to begin to fill the areas between the lines with more foliage and to start adding some flowers.

This process was repeated, adding more flowers to fill gaps, interspersed with standing back to assess the shape and check for bald spots!

Eventually, you have to stick a fork in it and call it done!  Knowing when to stop with these kind of things is always a challenge.

The final task was to decorate the top of the pot with some moss and a small arrangement, to tie in the colours with the main ball.

Here is my finished topiary tree – I was really pleased with the result!  As well as looking lovely, it also smells amazing due to all that lavender. 

The base and pole can be reused so I’m looking forward to creating more trees later in the year. I’ll also be looking at what other workshops are available from Driftwood and Daisies as this was a very enjoyable way to spend a morning!

Merry Christmas!

Are you ready for Christmas then? I don’t really know how (since December always follows November!) but December has suddenly crept up on me this year.  It’s been hectic getting cards and presents made, wrapped and delivered, together with going to work and also, sadly, having to return to Derbyshire for a few days for a family funeral.  However, the end of this week saw me being able to just relax and do some Christmassy things for me. 

Firstly, my sister has come to stay for a few days so we started by visiting the local garden centre to see the reindeer that they have each year in December.  This year they were called Glacier and Cloudy and they were gorgeous, as always.

This one was particularly hungry and kept coming to the fence to see if there was any food available, which allowed me several strokes of his velvety nose! Love that nose!!

We then took advantage of the photo opportunity on the snowman seat – it was a bit of a squeeze!

I did have to do some last-minute crafting this week.  We’ve bought gift vouchers online for some gifts so I wanted to make a more interesting presentation wallet than just a plain envelope.  Mr L had requested some Christmas cards like Santa suits….

…so I made the gift envelopes in the same style but with a beard rather than fur trim on the coat.  For the beard, I die cut half a scalloped oval however it could be a shape cut out with scissors though.  I embossed it with a swirly patterned embossing folder to add some texture.  I have a buckle die but one can easily be made by cutting out a black rectangle the same width as the belt, cutting out a glitter/metallic rectangle ⅛” bigger and sticking the black rectangle on top.

Next, after foraging in the garden and the lane, I passed an enjoyable hour making my festive foliage table decoration.  The trouble is that it’s so large, we won’t be able to get our plates of Christmas dinner on the table! 

Lastly, I finally got around to making a tree to display my Twelve Days Ornaments (from April 2019 blog post).  I didn’t want to put them on the Christmas tree as I thought they’d get a bit lost and I wanted to be able to properly see them! I chopped a couple of branches, tied them together then glued them into holes I drilled in a log. I sprayed the branches with some glitter spray, wrapped a hessian strip around the trunk, fairy lights around the branches and covered the top of the log with some embossing paste mixed with glitter. I was very happy with how it turned out.

However you’re celebrating Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful time!

 

 

 

Festive Foliage and Friends!

Last Friday I had the most enjoyable day when some friends came around for coffee, biscuits and wreath making.   Mr. L had been busy with his chain saw on our overgrown Leylandii hedge to give us some base materials and I had pruned the eucalyptus and rosemary bushes that I let grow large for this very purpose.  Between the rain storms, I’d nipped out and cut a little holly and ivy and from the hedgerow and I’d gathered some teasels from the scrub land next to our house and some pine cones from a local park.  There are no air miles attached to these wreaths!!

Jane’s husband Dave also came along to offer words of encouragement and be a guest cat bed for Leia….

I’d watched a Gardener’s World video and made a wreath last year so I was the appointed “teacher”.   We started with a 12” wire frame and using binding wire, attached the various base foliage to the frame by winding the wire around the frame and foliage, wiggling it between the fronds and leaves to avoid getting a ‘bandaged’ look!

This process was repeated until the base layer was completed and the wire frame was covered.

Next, we prepared the accent pieces – the holly, ivy, pinecones and teasels – by wrapping the stems with floristry wire.  Our holly was nude so we attached some artificial berries for added colour.

These pieces were pushed through the base layer and secured to the metal frame.  We finished the wreaths by making a bow using wire edged ribbon and secured that into the frame with some binding wire.

Here are Ruth, Joy and Jane with their finished wreaths.  They look so professional!

We had so much fun making these and they really weren’t difficult nor expensive to make so I encourage you to have a go!

Since there was a lot of foliage left, Jane took home a couple of the eucalyptus branches for the church flowers so Dave got his own aromatherapy experience on their return journey!

I made three wreaths in total; one for us and one each for my Mum and my Mum-in-law.  I finished off my wreaths with a bit of spray glitter.

Last year we bought mini Christmas trees, hellebores and cyclamen to put in the wall mangers which gradually died when I neglected to remove them and plant them in the garden in the spring.  So, since I had enough base foliage to make wreaths for about half of Hampshire(!), I decided to fashion some wreath style Christmas trees.  I started with some garden wire mesh and cut and moulded it to form a sort of half cone shape and then added the foliage in tree type layers.

Some accent pieces, fairy lights and a star for the top and my Festive Foliage Christmas Tree (that looks like Cousin It!) was complete.