Notes from a Flower Farm: Floral Crowns
Our flower columnist, Marigold and Mint, shows us how to make flower crowns out of lily-of-the-valley and lillies. Perfect for Easter or a spring wedding!
Easter and spring puts me in mind of crowns, and a floral wreath is favorite accessory of my daughter and a sweet party treat, even for older guests.
Thinking of the many plant crowns in this season—including Botticelli's "Primavera"—I wanted to make crowns for my Easter dinner. I made two crowns, one with deicate lily-of-the-valley and the other with white lilies as a nod to Easter. And you could make these wreaths for any special occasion—for a bride or flower girls to wear at a wedding or for any party that might be charmed by the addition of a floral headdress.
I wanted these crowns (which could just as easily be used as wreaths on a front door, or set on a table with candles or some other Easter display within them) to capture the sweet pleasures of spring and renewal. Lily-of-the-valley are tiny and delicate like a new baby’s fingers, and while I am not using the trumpet shaped Easter lily, using white lilies at all nonetheless puts one in mind of all that it symbolizes: pure new life.
Marigold and Mint is an organic farm, a retail shop, and a studio. The farm is situated along the Snoqualmie River, about 30 miles east of Seattle and the shop is located in the Melrose Market on Capitol Hill in Seattle, Washington. Founded in 2008 by owner Katherine Anderson, Marigold and Mint reflects her lifetime love of flowers and landscapes. Trained as a landscape architect, she brings her affection for both clean and clear design and intricate patterns to Marigold and Mint.
First, I clipped some thin and flexible kiwi branches at the farm; really, any pliant new growth you can find will do. Shape one branch into a circle, and don’t worry if it’s not perfect; the flowers will obscure any weird bends. To close the circle I overlap the end and beginning of the branch by a few inches and twist green floral wire around it.
Peterkort Roses in Oregon provides me with amazing garden roses when mine aren’t in season and they also grow a handful of other flowers, including tall and strong Asiatic and Oriental lilies. For this project, be sure to buy your lilies enough ahead of time to allow them to open up fully, about two to five days earlier. As they open, carefully remove the staining orange stamens.
To make either of these crowns, you must make them on the day that you plan to wear or hang them, as they won’t last more than the day.
First, take your open lilies and clip enough blooms to surround the wreath frame that you’ve created with the branch. Be sure to leave a couple of inches of green stem attached. Obviously the number of blooms depends on the size of your wreath as well as the size of your blooms. I used 12.
Cut a dozen or so pieces of roughly 2.5” wire, or cut one long piece of wire (a couple of feet). Next, twist some wire around the stem of one bloom and then lay the stem alongside the frame, with the bloom facing out, and then twist the same wire around the frame. Add the next bloom with its own piece of wire, or using the one already wrapped, if you prefer the one-wire method. Position the second bloom right up against the bottom of the first bloom, or even overlapping it.