Arriving at the Botanic Gardens at the crack of dawn, Rachel and I start unloading the trailer. We’ve got a couple of hours to hang our ‘baby’; an enormous blue gum wreath, 1.5 metres in diameter, the wire base of which we sculptured from a salvaged old farm fence. The decorative eucalyptus looks absolutely divine and its scent triggers fond memories of our shop in Lyttelton where we held floral workshops pre-earthquake. Eucalyptus along with pine trees baking in the hot sun are probably my most favourite smells. I adore them.
Our giant wreath hung on branches of the magnificent purple beech tree near the Peacock fountain in the Gardens. Using the giant wreath as a backdrop, Rachel and I started designing our little ‘set’ ready for the demonstration we were giving, ‘How to make a seasonal wreath from your garden’.
I am a huge fan of grandiflora foliage in arrangements requiring scale, and actually prefer to focus on the brown suede-like underside of the leaves which are really quite beautiful. The rich brown looks amazing contrasted with deep pink flowers and other red / pink foliage. Smoke Tree Bush perhaps.