By Tessa Woolf
Regional florist Natalie Bernhisel-Robinson of La Fleur Design has been making wreaths since she was a little girl. With years of cutting stems and wiring wreath forms under her gardening belt, she decided to put her know-how down on paper.
Released this spring, her pretty paperback book Living Wreaths: 20 Beautiful Projects for Gifts and Decor ($20, Gibbs Smith), is filled with gorgeous photographs, advice, and ideas. Bernhisel-Robinson shares step-by-step instructions for creating living wreaths made from the likes of lavender, succulents, moss, and even lettuce.
We chatted with Bernhisel-Robinson and got the scoop on Living Wreaths—read our Q&A below.
PBG: Congrats on your new book! Have you always been a fan of wreaths?
NBH: I discovered at an early age I loved creating wreaths. It was exciting and easy to take materials and wire them onto wreath forms. I practiced with dried flowers, branches, and pods, and then moved on to fresh-cut designs using classic evergreens and berries at holiday time.
As my floral business evolved, I started creating lush and romantic wreaths using cut flowers to hang on doors for grand welcomes. After years of making wreaths, it only seemed fitting to start writing Living Wreaths.
PBG: Wreaths are hot right now for weddings. Is this a trend your brides and grooms are requesting?
NBH: Wreaths have become more and more popular for weddings. I’ve designed flower-filled wreaths for ceremonies, for large wooden church doors, and small varieties to tie on to the backs of bride and groom chairs. Wedding wreaths can be intricate, using hundred of blooms, or simple using just curly willow and lavender for a style that’s much more organic and natural.
Wedding magazines and blogs are currently inundated with brides wearing blooming floral head wreaths—this seems like a new trend, and in a way it is, but I created similar thick floral headpieces for many brides back in the late ’90s! I want to start a new trend by creating small wreath boutonnieres for grooms. Just think how amazing that would look!
PBG: Of the wreath projects included in your book, which is your favorite?
NBH: I crated a tabletop cactus wreath that is to die for. It looks a little dangerous, but it is pretty simple to create. I keep hoping that I get hired for a big Southwestern wedding and the bride orders cactus wreath centerpieces!
PBG: What can local couples learn from your book?
NBH: Brides and grooms can gain much inspiration from reading the book. They may be inspired by a centerpiece idea for their big day, or decide to create a living wreath together for their new home.