Erin Benzakein has been a frequent contributor and constant friend to Taproot since our beginning, sharing her ideas, inspiration and tips for growing beautiful flowers whether for your kitchen table or for market. She has just released her first book Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms. We are thrilled to carry her new title, as well as to have her in the pages of WEAVE, sharing her tips on growing Cosmos.
Here today, she shares with us an excerpt of her new book (courtesy of Chronicle Books), timed perfectly for the upcoming spring season of May Day baskets and Maypole dances! Enjoy!
~ Amanda Blake Soule
Spring Flower Crown
(Excerpted from Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms by Erin Benzakein. Chronicle Books, March 2017.)
There’s nothing quite like a crown of fresh blooms to put you in a celebratory mood. These floral accessories are no longer seen only at weddings—a flower crown can be worn to just about any special occasion.
All you need to create one of these pretty halos is a few handfuls of flowers and greens and some basic floral supplies. Once you learn how easy they are to make, you’ll likely be making crowns for you and all your friends.
You will need:
2 feet (60 cm) of paper-covered wire
Ten 6-inch (15-cm) pieces of floral or paddle wire
A roll of floral tape
6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 m) of decorative ribbon
2 stems of viburnum, with 8 to 10 blossoms removed
12 stems of muscari
9 or 10 stems of ranunculus
1 stem of Canterbury bells (Campanula medium), 8 blossoms removed
8 to 10 small stems of larkspur
1. Determine the crown’s diameter by wrapping the paper-covered wire around your head where you want it to sit. Leave a few extra inches/centimeters on either end for fastening together later. Make a loop on one end and leave the other straight. (After fitting the crown to your head, straighten it out before adding materials.)
2. For large, heavy blooms like ranunculus that need extra support, wire the stems individually for added stability before securing them to the bundles. Make a hairpin with floral wire and slip it gently down through the center of the flower head. Then tape the wire and stem together.
3. Put together mini bouquets of roughly 4 to 6 stems each, using a mixture of the listed greens and blooms. I generally use 8 to 10 mini bouquets for an average-sized crown. For a delicate crown, make the bundles petite; for a fuller finished piece, make the bundles bigger. Cut the stem ends so that 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) of stem are remaining.
4. Wrap each mini bouquet’s stems together with floral tape, starting at the base and going around each mini bouquet until the stems are fully covered. Floral tape gets sticky when gently stretched, so be sure to pull on it slightly as you work, and it will adhere to itself.
5. To build the crown, take one of the mini bouquets and lay it along the paper-covered wire. Wrap floral tape around the mini bouquet and the wire a few times until it’s thoroughly attached.
6. Add the remaining mini bouquets, facing them in the same direction as the first and placing them so that each hides the previous mini bouquet’s stem ends, until the paper-covered wire base is covered.
7. After all of the flowers are attached, tie a few pieces of ribbon on either side of the clasp in the back.
8. Place the crown on your head and secure the two ends together by looping the straight end of the wire through the loop on the other side and twisting to secure it.
9. If you won’t be wearing the crown right away, store it in the produce area of your refrigerator for up to 2 days to keep it fresh.