Bringing the outside in

A bit of a different blog for me this week as I share with you how I go about bringing a little bit of my garden inside.

If you’ve been following me for a while then you have most probably guessed I adore flowers, and as I spend more time out in my garden I’ve started to become intrigued with creating more designs in my home beyond bouquets. This week I had a go at creating a doorway installation with foliage which was collected whilst out foraging along with hydrangeas which I’ve been drying over the last few weeks. 

This time of year is great for creating designs like this as plants and in particular foliage are less dependent on water. It’s also a great time to incorporate flowers that have been previously dried, as in the case of my hydrangeas. Below explains how I’ve gone about creating this.

My Autumn doorway

Creating the base

I’ve created the base using chicken wire, creating a tube-like structure and then securing it to the wall with some small nails. The great thing about chicken wire is that it can be used again, plus it creates such a strong framework that supports the blooms and foliage perfectly. If you haven’t used it before then I highly recommend it. It’s also what I used for my Cosmos arrangement a few weeks back.

Don’t forget the all-important access

If you are adding this archway to a door you will be using make sure you think about the positioning of the wire roll. Make sure you leave a little gap between the frame and the roll of wire as you will be placing foliage on the inside of the roll.

Let’s get started

Make sure you have conditioned your foliage and flowers and leave them to have a drink overnight. Conditioning is basically removing any unwanted foliage/foliage that will fall below the water line and snipping the ends at an angle to maximise water intake. Also make sure you remove any buds from the stems as these get easily caught on the chicken wire.

My biggest piece of advice when creating this is to not overthink it too much or focus on one area. Keep stepping back and look at it as a whole. Ideally you want it to look as natural as possible and look like it’s grown over your doorway – just as it would do in the wild.

I started with foliage, initially adding three – four big sections

In terms of securing it, add the stem to the base of the chicken wire and then secure in the middle and at the top, if required. I’ve used paper covered wire which is so easy to use, you just tie it like you would do food tags. Alternatively, you can use jute string, garden string or wire. Just make sure that as you tie you either snip the ends or hide them round the back, so you can’t see what you’ve used to secure the foliage in place.

I then added more foliage, using a mixture of big and little clumps of foliage, literally popping them in the chicken wire. The aim is to get an even distribution but don’t overdo it at this stage – it’s not about covering the chicken wire; it’s about creating an even distribution of foliage. Also, don’t forget to add towards the back of the chicken wire to create that depth.

Time for the blooms

Well, the dried ones in this case. Once I’d covered about three quarters of the structure, I started adding the hydrangeas. Again, I went with what I thought worked well. Some were placed in quite a dominant place and then some less so dominant. Again, the key is to keep stepping back to have a look and make sure you are happy with your placements. 

Finishing off

Once the blooms have been added,  focus on covering the chicken wire with small snippets of left-over foliage.

I’m so pleased with the overall result and it really does feel like I’ve brought a little part of the outdoors in. This is great for a special occasion or if like me you just have this thing with flowers. Because it is a dry arrangement you will find that the foliage will dry out so if you are doing it for a special occasion, I would recommend the day before or even better the day of the event itself.

Other jobs I’ve been doing in my garden this week

  • Pruning Roses – I’ve just finished giving my roses a prune, removing dead, dying, damaged and diseased stems. Don’t forget to either burn or pop any diseased stems/leave into your bin, do not add to your compost heap.
  • Look after your lawn – Now is the time to be giving your lawn its last mow to keep it looking tidy for the Winter. Make sure you don’t mow too short as we are now getting into frost territory.
  • Start the dreaded leaf pick up – Try to keep on top of the leaf pick up. I tend to start to do a weekly pick up to help keep on top of the ‘leaf situation’. I will be honest, not my favourite job but it is important to do, to allow your lawns to breathe and minimise pests and diseases.
  • Don’t forget to plant up your bulbs – This week I finally got outside to plant up my daffodils and peonies.

With love and stay safe, Flowers and Lifestyle by Margot –

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