All photos and flowers by Mary Kathryn Paynter
Fall is finally here, so today I’ll show you how to make a beautiful, slightly spooky garland from gorgeous green Amaranthus caudatus, or love-lies-bleeding. Love-lies-bleeding is a summer annual that blooms through the first frost and dries beautifully, making it an ideal flower to grow and harvest for fall decor. If you can’t grow your own, it’s widely available through flower markets, where it sells for about $9/bunch.
The flower’s electric green color is perfect for a creepy Halloween party, where they can drip from doorways and window frames to add a cobweb-esque effect. At the same time, they are elegant decorations, as the green wonderfully complements the roses, oranges, auburns and golds of the season. — Mary Kathryn
The full post continues after the jump . . .
To begin your garland, cut two stalks of amaranth about a foot long and hold them parallel to each other, being sure to stagger the dripping blooms. Cut a piece of floral wire (I recommend 22 gauge) at about eight inches, and wrap the two stems together with an “x” of wire. Move down the stalk, away from the bloom, and repeat with another “x” of floral wire joining them. This will be the base of your garland.
Continue building on this pattern by taking amaranth stems, flipping them in the other direction and wiring them onto the existing base of your garland. Next, move pieces closer into the center, until pieces of amaranth drip all the way across your garland. The goal is to get the garland nice and full, with as much of the wire covered as possible. Be sure to overlap blooms over visible pieces of the wire and to keep the stalks relatively long so the garland has some heft to it.
Lastly, hang the garland by looping wire from the garland over nails or pushpins in your doorway or windowsill. Finish by covering bare spots with moss. And there you have it — an elegant but festive, floral way to get into the Halloween spirit.