Photos and Narrative by Louise Krafft
The first in a new series of quarterly workshops was held Sunday afternoon at the headquarters of the American Horticulture Society, River Farm. Former chief floral designer at the White House Laura Dowling led the sold-out class in a seasonal and holiday wreathmaking workshop. Dowling introduced the group to updated Williamsburg-style wreaths using layers of greens, berries and flowers. All of the participants received copies of Dowling’s new book, “Wreaths: With How-to Tutorials.”
To begin, the materials were assembled. For the greens, port orford cedar, oregonia and asparagus plumosa fern were used. Fruits and flowers included hyperecum, rosehips, nandina and Dutch hydrangea. Floral supplies included a wrapped hay wreath form, 18-gauge rustic wire (for hanging), floral craft wire for securing the greens, wired sticks for adding the berries and flowers along with gardening sheers.
Starting with the base green materials after securing the 18-gauge wire for hanging, floral wire is wrapped and tied as an anchor around the wreath. Using one hand, small bunches of stems are gathered and held against frame while the other hand crosses the wire over the base of the stems to secure them in place. This process is repeated until the frame is covered. After securing the selected berries and flowers to wired sticks, the embellishments are added to complete the wreath.
For more information on upcoming workshops visit www.ahsgardening.org