The language of lavender denotes calmness and tranquility. Making wreaths on a lavender farm on the Old Mission Peninsula (Harbor View Nursery and Lavender Farm) was, therefore, the ideal antidote for combatting pre-wedding stress disorder.
In Northern Michigan, fresh lavender is in season and a couple of days prior to daughter Greta’s marriage to Tom, I spent the morning with family members making lavender wreaths.
It took five neophyte wreath makers 2 1/2 hours to make 24, 16-inch wreaths. Lavender is most assuredly nature’s version of Prozac. Suffused with this intoxicating bomb of aromatherapy, we were giddy yet mellow after our task was complete. No better way of bonding with my new son-in-law’s mother, Barb, and her sister Mary.
The wreaths were used as centerpieces on the dinner tables (pictured below). A thirty-two inch wreath was hung in the ceremonial alcove (pictured above), and fresh lavender was arranged with other locally grown flowers and herbs into bouquets, flower crowns and flower arrangements.
One of the owners of the farm, Sonja, supplied all of the materials we needed to make the wreaths and instructed us on the process. If a wreath-making workshop is something that interests you, shoot her an e-mail, which is listed on her site.
Before I get to the drill, Lake Union Publishing is conducting a Goodreads Giveaway. They’re giving away 100 Kindle versions of “The Promise Kitchen” (to be published August 16). That’s a heck of a lot of e-books to be giving away. Super simple to enter.
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If you’re not familiar with Goodread’s Giveaways, they are, in essence, within your chosen genre, free lotteries that you can enter to win books.
- Organize your supplies. Sonja provided us with 12-inch metal wreath bases, floral wire and wire cutters (available at craft stores such as Michael’s or JoAnne Fabrics.)
- Gather your desired amount of fresh or dried lavender stems into bundles. It’s attractive to vary the lavender colors. We pair pale purple bunches with deep purple bunches.The more stems you use per bundle, the thicker your wreath will be. Secure the bundles together with wire at the stem.
- With sharp scissors, trim the stems so that the bundles are about 8-10 inches in length. You will need about 7-8 bundles per wreath.
- Wrap the wire around the wreath base several times to secure. (Note that you don’t cut the wire, you keep roping it around the lavender stems of the circumference of the wreath.)
- Lay one of the lavender bundles onto the wreath frame so that the blossoms extend slightly past the edge of the frame at your preferred angle. Secure the herbs into the frame by wrapping the wire two or three times around the stem ends of the lavender.
- Layer the next lavender bundle so that the flowers completely cover the stems from the first bundle. Again, secure the bundle into place with wire. Continue in this method until your wreath is almost complete. With the last bundle, lift the blossoms from the first bundle up to place the stems of the last bundle underneath. Secure with the wire and then with wire cutters, snip it, tucking the sharp edge back into the wreath.
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