Welcome your guests with gorgeous fresh greens festooned with fragrant roses!
Yield: 10-foot garland
-3 large bunches green boxwood
-3 large bunches seeded eucalyptus
-5 large bunches cream-colored festival bush
-5 large bunches white wax flowers
-4 large bunches white yarrow
-200 yards 24-gauge green floral wire
-10 feet Oasis 18-gauge green rustic floral wire
-24 roses in color of choice
1. Use the garden shears to cut the boxwood into 6-inch lengths. Cut the eucalyptus and festival bush into 8-inch lengths. Cut the wax flowers and yarrow into 10-inch lengths.
2. Wind the end of the floral wire around one end of the rustic wire. Do not cut the 24-gauge wire until the garland is finished.
3. Take a small handful of boxwood and push the 24-gauge wire through the bundle. Wrap the wire several times around the bundle near the cut ends of the stems. Place the bundle on the 18-gauge rustic wire with the leafy ends extending beyond the end of the rustic wire. Tightly twist the 24-gauge wire around the 18-gauge rustic wire to secure the bundle.
4. Take a handful of the eucalyptus, overlap it on the boxwood facing in the same direction, and wrap the 24-gauge wire around the ends of the stems. Then tightly twist the 24-gauge wire around the 18-gauge rustic wire to secure the bundle. Continue to work in this manner, mixing bundles of boxwood, eucalyptus, festival bush, wax flowers and yarrow until the entire length of rustic wire is almost covered. Attach the last three or four bundles with the greenery facing in the opposite direction. Using the wire cutter, cut off any excess wire.
5. Using the garden shears, cut the rose stems to within 5 inches of the flower heads. Holding two roses, twist the 24-gauge wire around the stems close to the flower; do not cut the wire. Attach the roses near one end of the garland, with the flowers facing outward, by twisting the wire around the garland and hiding the wire under the greenery. Do not cut the wire until all the roses have been secured to the garland. Spacing the roses as desired, add the pairs or groups of three roses along the length of the garland by winding the wire around each rose and securing it to the garland with additional wire wrapped around the greenery. When all the roses have been added, trim the wire. The garland will stay fresh for about 2 hours, depending on the outdoor temperature and exposure to direct sunlight.
Excerpted from Prairie-Style Weddings—Rustic and Romantic Farm, Woodland and Garden Celebrations by Fifi O’Neill (2014: Chronicle Books, $30).
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