A couple of Fridays ago a little group of some of my coolest and creative friends (though they all are, really) and I got together for a relaxed wreath-making brunch, and discovered this combination – coffee, toast, toppings and getting crafty with flowers and foliage – is a really bloody great way to spend a morning!
Lucy Houghton of Lu Diamond Flowers provided all the green and pretty bits, wire, scissors, ribbon, expert advice and of course her beautiful studio space, Yeshe Dawa (aka The Midnight Baker) provided thick, wholesome, delicious slices of her beautiful bread, as well as some very yum summer toppings, and the amazing Karen Ishiguro took the snaps. With a lot of laughs and a little bit of swearing we each created a wreath to take home with us, all surprisingly different but all kinda wonderful.
Lucy: We had a mix of greenery and floral, some better suited for a short life but super pretty and others more suited for a longer, robust life – peonies, Queen Anne’s Lace, scarbosia, ferns and copper beech, plus other bits and bobs from the roadside. Milano ruscus, gum, olive and little gem are perfect for long-lasting wreaths.
I wanted mine to be wild, not perfectly round and a little witchy – not too pretty. No flowers, which is not like me usually as I tend to be more attracted to floral and pretty details. I would say not making your wreath too small makes it easier as it can get fiddly wiring. Start with larger, bulkier greenery then add in finer details last.
Make wreaths in good company!
Karen: I envisioned a garden inside my wreath, as opposed to having something that flourished outwards. Like a terrarium version of a wreath. It happened quite organically – my wire size was quite big so I figured my piece would be huge if I focused on the outer-edges of it. Wasn’t sure where I was going with it, but I was stoked with what I created in the end!
Josie: I like things understated, simple and symmetrical so mine was the little guy and looked a bit boring when set with the rest, but on its own I was quite pleased with the layers of greenery, delicate sprays of white manuka blossom and tiny pops of Queen Anne’s Lace. I have it hanging on my door and it’s actually held together pretty well, and still looks okay as it dries out. Fresh flowers can always be swapped out, if you have a long-lasting framework.
Yeshe: I wanted the leaves of my wreath to fan out in a spiral fashion, for it to be fairly symmetrical the whole way round and for it to be simple but beautiful. I pretty much wanted to make it as non Christmas-y as possible.
Summer toast toppings:
I love the summer fruits and vegetables that become readily available at this time of year. My family Christmas celebrations always include baby potatoes with mint and raspberries with cream amongst a whole host of other things. I like to keep my toppings light and fresh during the hot months but inevitably something sweet and rich will always make its way in there.
I love making the most of fresh strawberries while they’re in season. They pair beautifully with the Cinnamon Freedom Loaf topped with whipped ricotta and lemon zest and a generous drizzle of honey. Or blitzed into a sugar free chia seed jam and served on top of almond butter.
Asparagus is another summer favourite of mine, and you can’t go past avocados, the green gold. Smashed, sliced, whipped on toast with vegemite or sardines or heirloom tomatoes, basil and olive oil or pureed into a cacao & date mousse with fresh banana slices… I could go on and on.
The toppings we had for the brunch were poached asparagus, cannellini and truffle puree with parsley,
smashed avocado, oven-roasted cherry tomatoes and basil with lemon wedges.