Cushion Moss Wreath
Photography: Ngoc Minh Ngo
Source: The Martha Stewart Show, November 2007
An inviting wreath composed of cushion moss will thrive all year. Use some or all of the following natural materials to craft a beautiful wreath for your home.
These plants are of the genus Leucobryum (order Bryales), and form tufts resembling giant grayish white pincushions in moist woods or swampy areas. Three or more species are native to North America, and it grows in dense clumps ranging from a few centimeters to a meter (1 or 2 inches to more than a yard) in diameter and from 3 to 10 centimeters (1 to 4 inches) high.
Sheet moss, which is any of the plants of the genus Hypnum (subclass Bryidae), is a species of carpet moss. It forms dense green mats in many habitats throughout the world, especially on decaying wood in moist areas; a few species are aquatic. There are about 20 North American species of Hypnum. Sheet moss dries out extremely quickly, especially outdoors, so it's important to water it often.
A great seasonal berry used widely during the holidays for both centerpiece arrangements and wreaths, the Tallow berry grows on the Sapium sebiferum, most commonly known as the Chinese tallow tree, Florida aspen, or Popcorn tree. The tree is native to eastern Asia, especially China, Taiwan, and Japan.
These unusual plants look like blue thistles. The flowers of alpine sea holly are plumelike rather than resembling thistles. Plant them in full sun and in a light, sandy soil. Once the plants are established they do not like to be disturbed. The flowers may be cut for drying when they are fully open. If faded terminal flowers are removed, the side branches will bloom.
Berzelia lanuginosa is an evergreen shrub that grows up to 2 m high. It has slender branches and a spreading or upright habit. The small, narrow leaves are closely arranged in whorls up the stem. The flowers are usually clustered in terminal heads on short branches. The plant flowers from June to November. After flowering, it has attractive, creamy white seeds which stay on the shrub for at least one to two years.
12-inch straw wreath
Pincushion or reindeer moss
Nylon wire or chip brush
Glue gun and glue sticks
Start with 12-inch straw wreath. Select a handful of pincushion or reindeer moss. Brush excess dirt from moss with a nylon wire or chip brush.
Firmly cup moss in hand and hold to wreath to retain the lumpy shape of the moss. Push floral pin through moss into straw to hold moss; repeat until moss is secure. Brush dirt from moss with light brush if necessary. Continue placing moss around wreath until complete.
If you prefer to use sheet moss, take a few inches of the sheet moss, and trim dried out parts with scissors. Use glue gun to adhere to valleys in moss. This will also hide the floral pins. Continue gluing sheet moss until wreath is complete.
Add embellishments to the wreath: Wrap a few stems around a floral pick and wrap with floral tape. Create hole in wreath with a pencil; push floral pick into hole. You can also use a glue gun to attach some embellishments. Arrange embellishments in wreath as desired. Finish wreath with ribbon, tie ribbon in half-windsor knot.