Sunday, December 5, 2010
Artemisia Tree, Part I
Bed, Bath and Beyond! Here are the directions from the 1995 Yankee Magazine's Christmas in New England:
artemisia (Silver King); you will need almost half a bushel
6-inch Styrofoam cone
clippers or shears
small pinecones (cones from spruce or hemlock are a good size)
bittersweet, pepper berries, or rose hips
dried flowers such as bachelor button, delphinium, everlasting, oregano,
pearly everlasting, statice, tansy, yarrow
tiny bird figurines
fine florist wire or a hot-glue gun
Insert the handsomest pointed artemisia spike (about 6 to 7 inches long) into the top of the cone. Decide on a good length of the bottom branches; some people prefer a fat tree, others a skinny one. Cut 4 branches and insert them horizontally on the lowest level of the cone, roughly equidistant from one another so they divide the cone in quarters. They will guide you as you work around, filling in the bottom row entirely. Repeat the process on the next 2 rows, inserting 4 "guide" branches, then filling in. Keep turning the tree. You may want to put it on a lazy Susan as you work so that you can keep the whole shape of the tree in mind.
With the fourth row, begin to angle the branches slightly upward. From that point on, each row will point increasingly upward. You should begin to lengthen the branches slightly, so that by the time you get to the top few rows, they will hug the top 7-inch branch. Your tree should be bushy and full, with no Styrofoam showing. Trim the tree with assorted decorations, using either florist wire or a hot-glue gun.
The tree should last for a few years if stored in plastic in a dry place. To refresh, give it a quick shower under a spray faucet and add a few new blossoms and branches.
I do work with a lazy Susan. It makes it easy to see where you have holes in the tree. I do like the look of a "fat" tree. Hope the photos help. I didn't have time to work on it today and maybe not tomorrow, but I will have more photos for you later in the week. Hope you had a great day wherever you may be. Talk to you later.