3.16.16

As floral designer Ariella Chezar of Ariella Flowers says, nothing can transform a moment, mood, or space the way fresh flowers do. And we couldn’t agree more.

Ariella’s gorgeous new book, The Flower Workshop, is mesmerizing page by page with colorful floral displays and step-by-step instructions for 50 DIY floral projects.

This spectacular wall hanging makes good use of over 300 fresh marigolds, but don’t let that overwhelm you. Whether you use marigolds, carnations or chrysanthemums, these strings are relatively easy to make and make a huge impact on any garden space!

In Europe during the sixteenth century, the poor would place a bouquet of yellow flowers before a statue of the Virgin Mary to signify their devotion to the church. Known as “Mary’s gold,” this colorful offering soon came to be called the “marigold.”

Today, many gardeners see marigolds as a simple garden flower, something planted to keep insects from tomato plants. In various cultures, the blossoms are a great signifier. In Mexico, they decorate family graves on the Day of the Dead. In India, long strings of marigolds are draped as offerings at Hindu temples. Orange marigolds, so important at Indian weddings, are a symbol of creation and regeneration, and are thought to bring good luck to the newlyweds. The scent is as appealing as the color: The marigolds fill the air with a pungent, peppery fragrance that spells anticipation. A marigold curtain is easy enough to assemble, though it requires time, patience and a way with an upholstery needle or a Hawaiian lei needle, which can be ordered online.

How To Make A Marigold Curtain
This DIY should make five lengths of marigolds, each about 8 ft long

Supplies:

5 ten-feet lengths of 20-pound-test monofiliment fishing line
3- to 8-inch Hawaiian lei needle
10 safety pins
large plastic bag (optional)
hammer
5 nails, with heads, each 2 inches long
300 to 400 orange marigolds

Note: For marigolds of this quantity, you will have to order them from a flower market or find a local grower. You can substitute other inexpensive flowers, such as carnations or chrysanthemums.

Directions:

Make sure the marigolds are well hydrated. Keep them refrigerated in buckets overnight.

Thread the needle with a length of monofilament. Knot and tie a safety pin at the opposite end so the first flower has something to rest against. Clip off the marigold stems, leaving just the heads, and begin stringing by passing the needle through the center of each flower from base to top. When the garland reaches 8 feet, tie a secure double knot and attach another safety pin. Leave the remaining 2 feet of monofilament for hanging the garland. Repeat to make the remaining four garlands.

If not using the garlands immediately, place them in a large plastic bag and refrigerate to keep the flowers fresh. Marigolds are sturdy and will last for three or four days in the refrigerator.

Before your event, hammer the nails along the top of the doorway. Never use thumbtacks; these are weighty arrangements. Wrap the monofilament of each garland several times around a nail and tie a knot.

Once they are hung, the garlands’ freshness depends on the weather. If they are in the shade or the weather is mild, they will certainly last a day or two. If they are in the sun and it is very hot, they may wilt sooner. You can help keep the curtain fresh by spraying it periodically with water.

Reprinted with permission from The Flower Workshop, by Ariella Chezar with Julie Michaels,copyright © 2016, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.Photographs copyright © 2016 by Erin Kunkel


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