Capitol Corridor
Capitol Corridor
Capitol Corridor
University of California
Capitol Corridor

MG Approved Foliage

With the annual Master Gardener Wreath Workshop only about a week away, I start to think about plants in the landscape that can be used in wreaths.  Every year the MGs and I test new plants to see if they will hold up in a wreath.  Sometimes the plants are sturdy and retain their color and don’t fall apart-while others shatter and make a mess.

Just last year, we discovered from our MGs Mike and Kathy, that Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ was a winner. This plant is considered a succulent, and who would have thought of trying it, but they did!  After the flowers have bloomed and you’ve had time to enjoy them, you simply cut a good length of stem and hang the stems upside-down to dry.  Once dried, we spray painted them various colors: purple, silver or gold.  They can then be added to a wreath for a touch of color or sparkle.

Other plants that are proven winners for a wreath have been:

  • Pineapple guava (Feijoa sellowiana): Pineapple guava has wonderful oval-shaped leaves that are green on one side and felty, silver-grey on the other.  When arranged in a wreath with the silvery side up, it the leaves become the focus of the wreath.
  • Dwarf Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides): Dwarf plumbago has a distinct shape to it’s stem.  The stem is zig-zaggy and wiry in character.  It also has round, pokey seed heads.  In the cooler weather, the leaves turn a bronzy to reddish color, again, adding depth to the boring green wreaths.  I used dwarf plumbago with pacific wax myrtle and rose hips in a wreath I made for my aunt one year and it came out spectacularly!
  • Heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica): A tried-and-true plant for our wreath workshop.  The heavenly bamboo has fabulous fall colors of red, gold and green.  It’s delicate, feathery structure is a knock-out against the verdant background material used for the wreaths.
    Lacey foliage of Nandina domestica. (photos by Jennifer Baumbach)

There are so many other great plants out there that I could list, but I just don’t have the time to list them all.  We even use plants or plant parts or other materials.  We dry fruit, flowers (such as hydrangeas), use interesting twigs (crab apple or curly willow), and rose hips.  Of course pine cones, seed pods, feathers, and sea shells can always be hot glued or wired into a wreath.

I will be looking forward to seeing what unique wreaths will be made at our wreath workshop on December 3.  This year we are booked up, but mark your calendars for next year.  We hold the workshop the first Saturday of every December.  I will make sure to post for you pictures of the wreaths that were made from this workshop.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Red tint on Nandina.

Posted on Thursday, November 24, 2011 at 8:51 AM
Tags: foliage (3), leaves (4), Master Gardeners (51), wreath (1)

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