Floral artist Georgie Malyon creates a glorious garland that can be draped over a mantelpiece, across a hallway or along the table at Christmas lunch.
Gather together floral wire, ribbon or rope, and flowers and foliage that won’t wilt if they’re not in water. I chose crimson-flowering mānuka, strawflowers, fir, thuja, leucadendron, lichen-covered twigs and echeveria, along with some baubles in antique shades, and bells for jingling!
Your garland will be made up of small bunches of flowers. Strip the lower quarter of the stems of greenery and cut the wire into pieces long enough for wrapping a couple of times around each bunch. Create small bunches of foliage and/or flowers using two or three different types of greenery per bunch and wire together.
Once you have made your bunches, lay them in a line on a flat surface, rearranging until you have a cohesive look that pleases you. (I like to make each bunch a little different so the garland has lots of different points of visual interest). Wire the bunches along your ribbon or rope so the stems are overlapping and there are no gaps. Thin sections can be filled by wiring on more bunches.
Larger decorative features that are too heavy or difficult to wire into the bunches, such as the echeveria, can be attached using kebab sticks. Simply cut the kebab sticks to size, insert one end in the bottom of your plant and tuck the other into the garland to secure it. Tie on any bells or Christmas baubles as well.
The beauty of this garland – aside from the fact that it looks like something from a magical antipodean Christmas forest – is its versatility. You can drape it over a mantelpiece or across your table for Christmas dining, and arrange heavier decorations, such as pine cones, around it. Or string it across a hallway for guests to walk under and admire.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY REUBEN LOOI