Host: Gary Bachman, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist
We use wreaths to decorate our homes for many holidays and occasions, but what using a living wreath to celebrate the summer season today on Southern Gardening.
As we spend more time outside during the summer what would be more perfect than to have a beautiful and functional living wreath on the patio or deck. A living wreath is not only an attractive blend of colors and textures, but can be a handy herbs garden also. Having your favorite herbs only a snip away would be very convenient.
You only need a wire wreath form, long fiber sphagnum peat moss, potting mix, your favorite herbs, and florists wire or topiary pins to make your own living wreath. Pre-made sphagnum wreaths are available from your favorite hobby or florist shop and come in many shapes and sizes.
Soak your wreath a few minutes to saturate. Arrange your plants in the wreath shape to help visualize the finished product. When satisfied with your design use your fingers to punch holes in the sphagnum. Start on the outside and work your way to the center until your wreath is full.
Use florist wire or topiary pins to secure the plants. This will keep the plants in place while they grow and fill-in any bare spots. Any unruly plants can simply be snipped to restore order.
Spray your wreath periodically using the garden hose to keep it looking healthy and fresh. Fertilizer using a 20-10-20 or 20-20-20 water soluble fertilizer. Deadheading any spent flowers or pinching sprigs of herbs to cook with will help promote new growth and keep the wreath dense and lush looking.
By using a few of your favorite herbs you can enjoy a stunning living wreath to display in your outdoor living space all season long.
I am horticulturist Gary Bachman for Southern Gardening.