The Carousel Christmas Tree from Culverden

Carousel Christmas TreeCarousel Flora Design Christmas Tree

We had such a wonderful response to the Carousel Christmas Tree at Culverden.  The basic structure was made from old fence wire with vine woven through it, and then we decorated with dark green camellia foliage and long-lasting orange leucospermum which have an amazing impact and look really festive.

If you feel like an alternative to the traditional tree this year we are currently taking orders for these,  but as with all Christmas wreaths, garlands or arrangements we need orders as soon as possible as December gets very busy with workshops.  Price for your tree will depend on its size and whether you want it decorated or not, but the cost of this wire structure for example minus flowers and foliage is $180.00.  Budget another $150 for us to supply materials and style it.  The wire structure can be used again and again each year, or decorated with seasonal materials for parties or events.

We’re also taking bookings now for our Christmas Wreath Workshops at Riccarton House, Deans Bush Christchurch.  See flyer below for details and contact us to secure a space.

Revised 2 Christmas Wreath Workshop Flyer for blog

Culinary Bouquets & Wreaths for Culverden

photo 2Wild thyme gathered from Diamond Harbour

Only 24 hours to go until the Culverden Fete.  Our make-shift studio is resembling a Chinese sweat shop with boxes containing wreaths, wire hearts and stationery piled almost to the ceiling. The floor is littered with offcuts of camellia, eucalyptus, grapevine and holly.  We’ve enlisted the help of a dear friend Andrea (our herbal specialist) who is packing up box after box, attaching hook after hook,  at the same time as giving us a wonderful insight into the medicinal uses and benefits for the ingredients we’ve gathered.

We’ve added a culinary wreath to our range this Christmas for all those foodies out there and feeling inspired by these fragrant materials (bay, thyme, rosemary & pepper berries) we’ve made up culinary bouquets too which look and smell wonderful hanging in the kitchen.

The wild thyme is fast becoming our ingredient of the moment.  Not only because of  its heady scent but more so for its elegantly-curved natural form.   We strung bunches of the flowering thyme onto a wire garland to dry which prompted the idea for these giant bouquet garni that we’ll have on sale tomorrow.

Reinventing our baby for Culverden

photo 1Final preparations continue for the Culverden Fete.  The giant wreath we made for the Festival of Flowers back in March has had a make-over;  blue gum removed and replaced with glossy dark green camelia.  We wanted to create a wreath with a  less dense appearance and by weaving stems of the foliage around the outside and inside edges we defined the wreath’s shape leaving lots of breathing space within the design to enjoy the wire frame too.

These large structures can be used time and time again.  We love them for weddings and special events as they really create the wow factor from a distance as well as close up.  Contact us if you’ve got a special event planned and would like a floral statement of some kind!

Launching our Carousel Girl stationery

Horizontal view of Carousel Girl cardsRachel and I are thrilled to announce the launch of our brand new Carousel Girl stationery range, available to purchase right now.

This series of 5 is just the start.  More to come later in the year as Rachel creates a whole new range of these beautifully-attired girls who love nature and love gathering.

Individual cards are priced at $5.50 each or packs of the 5 designs are available at just $25.00.  Contact us to make an order or come and visit us at Culverden on 31 October, where we’ll also have beautiful cotton tea towels with the same designs available.

photo 1 photo copy photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

Wire Heart Designs for Culverden

Wire Heart with Spring BlossomLarge Wire Heart  decorated with Mock Orange Blossom & Flowering Griselinia

Our  Wire Workshops have proven extremely popular in the past so Rachel and I are designing a range of these hearts to sell at Culverden.  All the hearts are hand-made by us using salvaged wire we collect from farms and skips.  These structures offer a simple way to display fresh or dried flowers and the contradictory properties of the industrial wire and delicate, fragile roses or blossom seem to enhance both materials quite beautifully.

photo 3

These ever-lasting hearts, hung on walls, gates or fences make a rather romantic statement, wonderfully suited for garden parties, weddings or events.

We will have a selection of hearts available at Culverden, or can make a larger one to order.  Prices range from $120 – $350 depending on the size required.

Chicken wire & pearl heart resize blogWire Heart with Pearls

Carousel Wreaths for Culverden

photo copy 2Barbed Wire Heart with Pearls
photo copyClassic Grapevine Wreath
photoClassic Muhlenbeckia Wreath

We’ve begun making our classic range of wreaths for the Culverden Fete and for Christmas.  I know it seems rather early to think about the festive season, but before we know it December and the summer holidays will be upon us.

Our classic wreaths last forever and can be re-used every year. Each wreath is 100% handmade by Carousel and comes packaged in an elegant box (great for storage ) and gift-wrapped with foliage and natural raffia.  We have made these wreaths about 35 cm in diameter, but larger ones can be made to order.

Wreaths make a wonderful gift.  I know I would just love to be given one! The classic range of wreaths will be priced at a special rate of $99 for those sold at Culverden or ordered before 31 October.

More wreath designs to follow in the upcoming weeks so keep an eye out.  Plus we’ll preview our Carousel Girl stationery range very soon.

NZ House & Garden

Twig Vase with Forsythia resize blogTwig Vase with Flowering Forsythia as seen in October’s NZ House & Garden.  Photographer Rebecca Bijl.

Check out this month’s NZ House & Garden in which Rachel and I talk about simple and unusual ways to display flora in your home, alongside more information about The Fete at Culverden coming up on Thursday 31 October.

This twig vase is available in different sizes and can be made to order for a specific occasion.  All you need to add is a small glass jar to put at the bottom.  Contact us for more information.

NZ House & Garden Page 39 Blog


Preparations begin for The Culverden Fete

Sally with dried gumphoto copy 2photoJust over a month to go until The Fete at Culverden. Put Thursday 31 October in your diary and prepare for a wonderful day out in the country;  tickets are on sale through the website. I especially love the idea of the picnic lunch package on offer.

At Carousel Rachel and I are at the planning stage.  Trying to estimate just how much material needs to be gathered, which materials will last best and dry beautifully, how many wreaths we need to make, how many different designs we should plan and how the stall should look.

We’ll be launching our brand new range of Carousel Girl stationery and beautiful cotton tea towels that we’ve designed at the fete which we’re thrilled about.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be giving you a sneak preview of the Carousel products on offer at the fete so keep checking out the blog for updates and photos, and if you want to preorder anything just drop us an email.

Step One.  Gathering muhlenbeckia for the wreath bases.  A lovely spring morning spent weaving vine bases;  the muhlenbeckia is perfectly ripe and pliable so production gets underway. photo 3 photo 5 photo