flower crown

We are always learning things about ourselves.   I used to think that I didn't like making flower crowns, but it turns out that I just don't like not being able to make nice ones - I don't like to do something I'm not good at!  If brides ask for flower crowns, however, of course we have to make them, so I have had some practice over the last few years and, guess what, now I find that I really enjoy making them.  The flower crown for today's bride, Kayleigh, was an especial treat to make because there was no particular colour theme for the wedding.  Consequently I spent half an hour exploring the garden with fresh flower crown eyes, gathering up a big posy of things that would last fairly well out of water and that would suit the brief: natural, wild, romantic flowers.  Flower crowns need only very short stems -  I cut them to less than half an inch when I tape them on to the base - so I was able to gather things that might be too short to use for other work: the first flowering tips of the bushy chrysanthemum plants; fragrant jasmine flowers on short or wonky stems; the last flush of ethereal larkspur flowers, very short, tissue-like and oh so pretty.  I also picked bupleurum, feathery panicum grass, a few lovely little sweet Williams making a brave effort at unseasonal flowers, sturdy but soft-looking peachy yarrow and some lacy white-and-claret wild carrot flowers.  Then I carried everything down in water to the workshop at the bottom of the garden and settled down with Radio Four babbling peacefully on in the background. 

The first job is to make a wire base to hold the flowers.  taking some fine paper-covered wire, I cut a long piece and wrapped it round my head until it felt crown-like.  I secured the ends to make a circle, then cut it and taped on two more pieces of wire to make it adjustable: a hook and a hoop.  Then I covered the whole thing in papery tape.  Next I took all the stems out of the water and cut each thing to short lengths, making little separate piles of each so thaty I could see what I had.  Lovely - like Christmas!  Then I made up little clusters of stems - some flowers and foliage that looked pretty together - and twiddled some sticky paper tape around the short stems, before taping them at an angle on the wire base.  Happily absorbed in Radio Four, I continued working like this all the way around the base, carefully overlapping each little posy with the previous one, and alternating the angle at which I taped them on: one angled up, the next angled down.  When I reached the end (so much sooner than when I first began to make crowns, and disliked it so much!), I taped on another little posy in the opposite direction to all the others, to cover the bare wire.  Then I tucked the little wire hook into the hoop, et voila!  Maybe, with time and practice, I could come to enjoy even public speaking...