Styling the Seasons: How to create your own wild berry & bramble flower ball September 04, 2017 18:02
When we were little, Mum, a florist, used to make the most beautiful flower balls to hang from the lynchgate of our local church. They were a gorgeous welcome for wedding guests. So, what better way to welcome a new season and visitors to your home than with your very own? Given a modern twist, thanks to our our macrame plant holders, these DIY floral arrangements look great over a table for dinner parties, brilliant in a porch or hanging in an entrance hall.
What you'll need:
- A pair of secateurs for cutting brambles, blooms and foliage
- chicken wire - enough to make a ball of wire (for ours, we cut out a rectangle of wire, around 75cm wide and doubled it over)
- Macrame plant holder - I opted for the burgundy tones of our plum coloured plant holder (visit our homewares section for these!) to complement the autumnal berries and foliage.
Selecting your foliage
I love a good autumnal hedgerow! And luckily, I've got a load of brambles and all sorts lurking at the bottom of the garden in an overgrown 'wilderness' area. When deciding on what to use, my advice is to start with a restricted colour palette. You can always add to it, but I find the results are much better and more effective if you go for up to three main colours only. So for me, I limited my colour choices red tones of the berries & hips; greens in terms of foliage, ivy not quite in bloom and green acorns; and the browns of teasels, corn ears and bits of long grass. When cutting your stems, try and get a good length, more than you need, so you have plenty to play with. Try and collect your 'showstopper' stems, the ones that aren't just for covering the wire mesh but are your really gorgeous gems, in odd numbers. Pop anything that is fresh into a bucket of water. Strip the stems by removing any low leaves that would otherwise end up in the water. Keep any dry material, for example seed heads, to one side.
Setting up your plant hanger
If you have a hook in a nearby ceiling - wonderful, hook up your plant hanger and you are ready for action. If not, a hanging basket bracket works really well outside, or hang from a branch. Ideally, you want to be able to work around the entire plant hanger while it is suspended, so you get a good, round shape.
Creating your wire ball
Really easy, just take your chicken wire and mould into a wire mesh ball. Ideally, you want to make it so that it is roughly round, with a couple of layers of wire, one on top of the other. Hook any exposed ends round so they don't snag your plant hanger or stab you while you work! Place the wire ball gently into the plant hanger and then tease it out, loosening the wire a little to fill the space.
Arranging your flower and foliage
Now the fun part. Getting stuck in. Start by selecting one of your foliage pieces as the initial covering for your wire mesh. We opted for the ivy buds. Then, build up from there. The beauty of the wire mesh is that if you don't like something, just take it out. As you add more and more to your plant hanger, remember to take time to stand back, enjoy the process and move around. Either twirl your plant holder to look at all the angles, or work around it yourself.
As autumn gets underway, you'll have more and more to use from the garden, including lots of dried seed heads. Gorgeous. When one part fades, simply replace with new pickings. And can I just say, how awesome are these for Christmas?! Think mistletoe, holly, small cuttings of fir trees and pine cones against our dark grey plant hangers. Ooh! I can't wait! If you get making, please send us a pic! We'd love to see any of your creations. Simply tag us (@DenysandFielding) on Instagram or post to our Facebook page.