Wreaths festooned with living herbs make wonderful decorations indoors and out. Better yet, a culinary herb wreath provides a continual source of fresh herbs for cooking. Hang the herbal wreath on a wall near the kitchen or grill, where it looks great and is convenient for frequent pinching and use.
Combine plantings of herbs with colorful flowers, such as alyssum and lobelia. To keep your living wreath in good shape, pinch the tips of the herbs when you plant them and regularly after that. Occasionally clip errant stems and trim the wreath overall to keep it growing lush and looking good. Use the herb clippings in cooking.
Soak fresh or dried sphagnum sheet moss in a bucket of water for a few minutes. Work on a flat surface, such as an outdoor table, that won't be damaged by water and dirt. Squeeze excess water from a piece of sheet moss.
Line an 18-inch wire wreath form with generous pieces of moss, overlapping the pieces slightly, and letting them drape over the sides of the frame. Press the moss into the frame, making room to add potting soil. Moisten potting soil and combine it with water-retentive polymer crystals following package directions.
Mound the damp soil in the center of the moss as high as possible. Unpot plants and spread their roots on the soil. Space the plants 3 inches or so apart, working around the ring and alternating plants for variety.
Pull moss up around the root balls of the plants and pin the moss in place using U-shape pins (available from florist or crafts suppliers). Tuck in additional moss to cover any bare spots, securing with U-shape pins. Wrap green spool wire around the wreath, working from the outside to the inside of the ring and winding around from front to back. Lift only the part of the wreath that you are wrapping.
Wrap the entire wreath. Twist the wire ends together. Water thoroughly. Use a strong hook or nail to hang the wreath.
Editor's Tip: Water the wreath 1-3 times a week, depending on your weather conditions. To water, remove from hanger and place on ground. Water gently until soil is completely moistened. Let dry a few hours to overnight before hanging.
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