My flower arranging students often ask me how to add color and interest to winter arrangements. The flower market is often a struggle during these winter months if you live in a Northern climate and want to avoid shipping in big boxes of flowers from the Southern Hemisphere. One of my favorite ingredients for winter arrangements is fruit! Particularly around Christmas time. Growing up, my mom would always make Williamsburg stye wreaths, adding in apples, pears, lemons, and oranges to our Christmas wreaths. I love it! It’s really simple to add in fruit, and you don’t need access to an orange tree to do it! So today in our Frolic! Flower School series, we will learn how to wire fruit!
You will need:
Wire ( I like around an 20 gauge wire for this). Spool wire will be too thin. Try to find straight wire. I used wire from the hardware store but of course the coated green floral wire is great too. If the wire is too heavy, it will pull through the fruit, if it’s not thick enough, it won’t poke through, so try out a few and see what works for the fruit you are using.
1. Push a piece of wire (about 15 inches) all the way through the fruit (about half way down). On this orange, I poke it right where the stem was.
2. Push a second piece of wire, the same length, through the other way, so you have a criss cross.
3. Bend both of the wires straight down and twist them around each other, leaving several inches of wire free on the bottom.
4. Lay the fruit on the wreath and bend the wire “stem” portion so the fruit is sitting on it.
5. Twist the wire around the wreath and secure on the back.
A few tips:
I used this type of wreath base except with olive greenery.
I think it’s best to use a wire base for this as it will be just a bit more secure as it’s able to hold more weight. But, you can also just add more vines to your wreath base to make it stronger.
You can mist your fruit and greens with water. Depending on the climate, the wreath can last up to two weeks.
I often change out the fruit half way through the season.
For flower arrangements:
Often you can just use fruit on a branch but that can be difficult to source in winter months and it also tends to fall off. To add fruit to flower arrangements, simply, add a twig stuck into the bottom of the fruit, and wrap the wire around it. Now it has it’s own “flower stem”!
For this arrangement, I used berried ivy, cottoneaster greens, olive greens, orange leaves, orange blossoms, and clementines.
Be sure to add some leaves and greens around the base of the fruit to cover any wire or mechanics.
I would also recommend keeping the fruit in your arrangement towards the bottom of the composition as they are both heavy and bulky visually and physically.
I am loving decorating in a Mediterranean style for Christmas this year!
More Frolic! Flower School posts:
10 Ways to Make Your Cut Flowers Last Longer
Photos: Chelsea Fuss.