Posted on May 01, 2017 | by Kerry K
Using a metal frame with a jute liner, and small, low-growing plants, you can create a beautiful wreath that with care can last an entire season.
Look for low-growing, spreading plants made from brands like Jeepers Creepers, Steppables, or Treadwells. There are lots to choose from, and most of them bloom at some point during the season.
The wreath below used perennial Scotch moss, creeping Baby's Breath (Gypsophiloa repens), Pratia 'County Park,' and 'Harrington Silver' Thyme; annual purple sweet alyssum, and one purple viola. It will need some time to fill in but is already a beautiful mini garden.
Plugs or cell-pack plants are ideal, but most larger pots of creeping plants can simply be sliced or cut like a cake--we cut each perennial plant into 4 pieces. Our wreath used a total of 25 individual plant pieces, since we wanted to get to a finished look quickly. You could easily use half that many and let them grow--a couple of weeks should allow them to fill in fairly well. Plants were placed randomly, but well-mixed. The viola was used as a "bow."
Step by Step:
- Remove top ring and liner, fill bottom generously with potting mix, add slow-release fertilizer, and firm in well.
- Plan your design to ensure even coverage--cut any plants you need to. Mark the liner where you want to place your plants. Keep the ring on the liner to guide you while you mark so you don't end up having a ring on top of one of your plants. You can also mark the radial lines of the ring on the liner to make easier placement later.
- Cut where you marked-- Xs, not holes. The cut X shape will create flaps that will allow the plant to be placed, but will also keep the soil in. Making actual round holes may allow soil to fall out, especially if you cut too large.
- Place the cut liner over the wreath, covering the soil.
- Now you have a choice--you may attach the metal ring over the top liner NOW, and plant within the spaces. OR, you may plant WITHOUT the ring, then later place the ring over the liner AND plants once they are in place. It is easier to plant without the ring in place, but harder to place the ring after planting if your plants are very full. We chose to place the ring first and push the plants within the spaces.
- Open the "flaps" you cut and insert plants into the potting soil. You can make root balls narrower by soaking them first, then squeezing and forming them like modeling clay. If you lose some of the roots, don't worry--plants are usually pretty resilient.
- Continue to place your plants until all the spots you cut are filled. If you planted with the ring off, now you will need to place over the liner and plants and secure.
- Check sides and firm up any spots where soil may be leaking--squeeze into shape.
- Water well and place out of direct sun for the first few days. Check for water needs every day until you learn how much water your wreath will need. Wreath should be kept moist, and not allowed to dry out. How much water will depend on the type of plants you have chosen, as well as sun and wind conditions.
- As plants grow, you may need to prune a bit to retain your wreath's shape. Just trim where you need to--plants won't mind! Generally floral shears, or even kitchen scissors do just fine.
Wreaths with perennial plants can be placed on ground and covered with evergreen boughs or dry leaves for winter to protect roots from freezing. With any luck, many of them will return for another season!
Other Plant Ideas:
- Hot, sunny spot: succulents-sedums, hens & chicks, ice plant, and portulaca will grow well
- Shady place: Super Elfin impatiens will do the trick
- For a springier look, use Scotch or Irish moss, low-growing thymes, and violas
- Try ajuga, ivies, mazus, dwarf iberis, dwarf mondo grass
You can achieve so many different looks!