Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Flower School - Foraging for Foliage

It's a strange time of the year in the florist's calendar.  It's still technically Autumn, but it's not quite Christmas. Commercial foliage is in abundance, some with the benefit of a bit of added sparkle, but if you love the outdoors, you can't help but notice that at this time of the year many garden shrubs are coming into their own. So, while we ruin our nails and make our fingers sore mossing wreaths and wiring sprigs of Blue Spruce in the lead up to the Festive Season, I thought I'd take a look at using foliages which have the benefit of being free.

Obviously there are a few rules to happy foraging, one of which is be careful where you acquire your 'free' foliage and the other is cut with the plant, shrub or tree's best interest in mind. As a floristry student, I once incurred the wrath of a security guard working for a well-known Supermarket chain when I liberated a few sprigs of plentiful Hebe from their well-stocked car park!

My pickings from today's forage. You can just see the stunning Viburnum Tinus on the right which is currently producing lovely delicate flowers. The buds of the flowers are a really pretty pinky-burgundy and look incredible with silvery foliage.

Glossy, glorious,Tree Ivy which has just finished flowering and is on the cusp of producing berries. I adore the contrast of the lime spiky fruit against the dark leaves.

A really beautiful blue-green Leylandii complete with blue-black conifer berries.

Silvery Hebe (not from a Supermarket car park I hasten to add)

Gorgeous matt dark green Ivy trails with lovely veins, mixed with my nemesis - Holly!

A good morning's foraging, all in all and incredibly fragrant when combined with the Blue Spruce and moss I bought from the market yesterday.  There's an air of expectation in my workroom ...

Coming soon - my latest tutorial which features Christmas wreath making, using several methods of construction and a variety of both commercial available and foraged materials.  Until then, happy foraging.

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