By Katelyn Thomas
As I prepare my plants for winter, I have to cut back some of my more vigorous herbs, such as Rosemary, Eucalyptus, and Lemon Verbena before I can bring them inside. The Eucalyptus and Lemon Verbena usually grow 5 feet in a single season. Since I hate to waste my pruning efforts, I make herbal wreaths for Christmas gifts.
To make an herbal wreath, you will need four or five freshly cut pieces of your chosen herb that are at least a foot long. Two foot lengths make a nicer sized wreath, however. Make a circle using one piece. Just wind the thinner, more flexible end around the stiffer, thicker end a few times to hold it in place. Then, take an additional piece and weave it around the circle with the fat end starting on the thinner side of the circle. Continue by weaving the other pieces around the circle until it is securely fastened and looks nice and full.
Make a loop in one end of a piece of picture wire. Fasten the other end to the top of your wreath on the wrong side. This will be your wreath hanger. It is important to do this now, since your wreath is more fragile once it is dry. If you want to make a bow, now is the time to add that, as well. I prefer my wreaths without bows, but some people like a bit more color.
Now, it is time to hang the completed wreath to dry. Choose a spot that is out of direct sunlight and make sure there is no dampness. The wreaths will take a week or so to thoroughly dry, and the room where you dry them will smell terrific.
When you give your wreaths as gifts, place them in a box with the wrong side down. Transporting them loose or in bags results in a lot of lost or broken leaves.
I usually hand write a tag for my wreaths telling what they are useful for. For example, people can actually make tea with Lemon Verbena leaves and Eucalyptus repels moths and mice. Of course, people can also just hang their gifts on the wall and enjoy their scent.
Nothing is more the child of art than a garden — Sir Walter Scott