Joy of Sunflowers

SUNFLOWERS

Sunshine in a Vase
Sunshine in a Vase

This is were I get my Sunshine!
When using Sunflowers in my Vase I take off all the foliage as these tend not ot last as long as the flowers.

Replacing this foliage with some Eucalypthus & Asparagus fern guarentees my kitchen will be brigtened up for many days with these stunning Sunflowers.

This week in our shops we sell lots of sunflowers in bunches of 3 for only €7.50

Lamber de Bie Flowers

Waterford – Kilkenny

Pruning Vines and creating a Garden Sculpture

The 14th of February is the day to Prune your  Vines in your Garden. 

As a florist I’ve never been able to prune my Vines on the 14th of February as this is a day I’m always working in our flowershops creating lots of Valentine’s Bouquets.

However as my garden is one my biggest hobbys I look forward to a nice winter’s day as soon as I’ve had my rest after Valentines in the shops year after year, to prune my vines and spend time with my dogs in the garden.

Every year this feels like the real start of spring for me with days getting longer, the sun is getting warmer and the garden exploding with lots of snowdrops.

February is for me the real start of the gardening season with snowdrops popping up everywhere and the days getting longer.
February is for me the real start of the gardening season with snowdrops popping up everywhere and the days getting longer.

In order to get the best yield from your grape vines you need to prune very rigourisly every winter, and I’ve often heared expert mentioning the 14th of February as the perfect day to do this.

Even though the fruit isn’t the main reason I’m growing vines in the garden, I keep to this pruning regime every year. As we do not get enough sun to ripen all our grapes to sull size every year, some varieties work better than others in our Irish climate. For me it is mostly about the beautifull foliage and later on the autumn colours.

Bu July of each year the vines grow into beautiful rich green climbers.
Bu July of each year the vines grow into beautiful rich green climbers.

Vine leaves turning colour in September

Back to the pruning.

The best way to prune a vine is to leave 3 to 4 stems grow, right from the base of the plant, up to a lenght of 3 to 4 meter and take away all side-branches to approx 4cm (2/3 inch) length. It is from here that the neew branches grow and the fruit is produced. Also by leaving the same few stems every year you create beautifull strong stems that look stunning in winter.

Pruning all side branches from your vines right back to close to the main stem.
Pruning all side branches from your vines right back to close to the main stem.

The Clean up after the pruning becomes the real fun for today.

After all the pruning you are left with lots of branches to clean up. Rather than having to pick it all up and filling up the composter in the garden, or even worse, if you haven’t got a composting site in your garden, having to pay to dispose of the pruned branches, why not turn this into your own garden sculpture.

Simply push the branches together and start rolling the bundle of twigs around your garden untill it becomes a big loos sphere of twigs.

Creating a gardfen object from your prunes vine twigs.
Creating a gardfen object from your prunes vine twigs.

At this point I use a roll of florist wire, natural twine is also very good – but try choosing something that naturally de composes over time – and again keep rolling your shere around the garden white wrapping your wire around it.

Using florist bind wire

Stronger ends of the branches can be carefully bend inside the centre of your sphere – be carefull not to break these as they are less flexible in the winter – and with your wire or twine you can keep going until you have the desired shape white pushing the complete object into shape while rolling it around your garden.

Creating a garden sculpture from your vine branches.
Creating a garden sculpture from your vine branches.

And there you have it. A Garden job where the clean up is the most fun of it all.

This stunning garden object will last for several years outside and can be used as a decorative object on your garden table, a base for climbing plants in your border or when dried you could ever make this into your own home made centrepiece light over the dining table.

Create this garden sculpture from your vine branches.
Create this garden sculpture from your vine branches.

I hope you enjoyed this blog and get as much fun from your garden as I do time after time.

Lamber de Bie

Dutch Master Florist.

Step by Step on making a Christmas Door Wreath

How to make your own christmas door wreath

A step by step guide on how to make your own Christmas door wreath.

By Dutch Master Florist – Lamber de Bie

Decorate the door to your home with your own home made Christmas door wreath with a fools proof step by step guide by Dutch-Master-Florist, Lamber de Bie.

A beautiful wreath hanging from your front door is a wonderful welcome to all your family, friends and neighbors that will visit you over the festive christmas season.

With this easy to follow guide, anyone can make a magnificent door wreath and be the envy of all your neighbors.

There are a number of different base wreaths available to start making your own christmas wreath; You can use a metal frame that you can cover with moss or straw or even directly with noble fir, but the easiest option is to buy a ready made straw wreath base.

These straw bases are widely available from your florist or garden centre in a variety of seizes and are an in-expensive option. Make sure you choose an suitable size for your front door. Remember the finished door wreath will be approx. 3 to 4 inches wider after you add on the Noble Fir.

Next you need to get some fresh Noblis fir that you can get from your florist or garden centre and a hobby secretaurs and a roll of florist binding wire. A roll of garden twine can be used as a substitute for the wire.

What you need to make a christmas door wreath

Next we need to get some Holly with berries from the garden. However this evergreen Holly from my garden did not produce many berries this year and would also blend in to much with the green fir.

So I decide to cut some tips from this variegated Holly from my garden.

In order to grow a nice and compact Holly bush it is good to cut the tips of the branches every year, so your doing some important work to your garden at the same time.

Now we still have no berries on our Holly. So I decide to take some berries from my Cotoneaster bush. If you can’t find any berries in your garden you can always buy some artificial red berries from your local flower shop or garden centre.

Before we start with the making of our wreath we first have to cut our Noblis Fir branch into small twigs. Starting from the top of your branch (as in photo below)  cut off all the nice tips at approx. 4 inches long. You will need 2 to 3 large branches for an average door wreath.

Now we start with tying the florist wire firmly to your base, make sure the wire is wrapped over the wreath and from the centre of the wreath under the wreath back towards you.

Place the first of your noble fir on your wreath holding it in place with one hand. Start with the larger pieces on the outside and the smaller pieces on the inside of the wreath. All branches need to be pointing in the same direction facing up.

Next while still holding the branches with your same hand lift the wire over the wreath with your other hand and than bring the wire back towards you underneath the wreath. Keep your wire tight at all time and pull the wire firmly do your branches are tightly attached.

Keep repeating this process while still covering the cut end of the previously added twigs with the tops of the next layer, moving forward on the wreath by approx 2 inches every time. Remember to always lay every branch in the same direction.

When you are almost at the end -or where you began- you may have to cut the bottom of your stems so only the nice tops are viable.

Now secure the end of your florist wire with a so called “German Pin” These can be got from your florist, garden centre or hobby shop.

If you are hanging your wreath outside on your door or if you are making a wreath to put onto your table you can protect your door or table from rust and scratching by the wire by covering the the back of your wreath by a ribbon of plastic. Cutting a strip from a black bin liner works perfect.

Use the “German pins” on the inside and outside to secure your plastic protection.

Time to start decorating. First choose a nice christmas ribbon. Make sure it is a waterproof and wire-edged ribbon. The wire edge helps you to shape your bow and keep it looking well over the festive season.

We are first attaching a piece of ribbon that we will use later to hang the wreath from your door. Use approx 1 meter of ribbon, bring it around the inside of your wreath with the ends together at the back of the base.

Fold the ends together and attach the ribbon to your wreath using 2 “German Pins”. Keep the pins on the inside (not right at the back) to avoid scratching surfaces to your door.

This is how it should look from the front.

Now it’s time for the bow. Cut about 2 meter of ribbon and hold it in the middle lying over your index finger with your thumb holding it on the top. Now while holding the ribbon between thumb and index finger with your other hand fold the ribbon underneath itself , keeping your thumb in position and sliding the fold over your index finger and under neath the centre of the ribbon.  I hope this makes cense and I’m not making it sound more complicated than it really is. Next repeat this step with the other end of the ribbon and you should now have two loops as on the photo below. Repeat both steps to create your double bow.

When your bow is complete tie is in the centre tightly with a florist wire. Use this wire to tie your bow to the wreath over the ribbon you attached earlier to hang your wreath from.

Lay the straps of your bow across the wreath roughly dividing the wreath into 3 parts.

Now add small branches of Holly by pushing the ends into the straw base or by using the “German Pins”. Place two pieces, one on either side beside the bow and one piece at the bottom opposite the bow, again dividing the wreath into 3 sections.

Make sure you cut the ends of  your ribbon in a neat way just over the edge of your wreath. The easiest way to do this is by folding the ribbon lengthwise in half and than cutting it at an angle.

Now add small bunches of berries into the centre of your holly. The “German Pins” are the easiest way to do this.

Next we need to choose the rest of our decorations. For this wreath I have chosen 9 small natural cones and a small bunch of gold, glass baubles. I am using a hot-glue gun to add all these following decorations to my wreath. These glue guns can be bought from hobby shops and some DIY shops. Alternatively you can attach a florist wire to each decoration and push the wire into your straw base.

Be careful using your hot glue gun as this gets very, very hot to melt the glue.( do keep away from kids ) Add some glue to your cones and push into place and hold for upto 10 seconds.

Place the cones at the base of the Holly leaves, creating 3 neat clusters on your wreath.

Repeat the same with your gold baubles.

And this the finished product, you own christmas door wreath. When attaching the wreath to your door you can use a heavy duty staple gun to staple the ribbon to the top of your door, when your door is open so after christmas there are no markings on your door.

Here’s some examples of christmas door wreaths we have made for our customers at Lamber de Bie Flowers.

Door wreath with cinnamon sticks and dried fruits.

Wreath with natural cones, artificial red berries and red ribbon.

Elegant door wreath with white and silver decorations and white ribbon.

Hope you have fun making your own christmas door wreath and please leave a message to this post telling me how you got on.

For a look at the full range of Christmas flowers by Lamber de Bie Flowers, click on the picture below.

Happy Decorating from

Lamber de Bie

Dutch Master Florist

and all the team of Florists at Lamber de Bie Flowers

www.lamberdebie.ie


How to make a Christmas Door Wreath

How to make your own christmas door wreath

By Dutch Master Florist – Lamber de Bie

 

Decorate the door to your home with your own home made Christmas door wreath with a fools proof step by step guide by Dutch-Master-Florist, Lamber de Bie.

 

A beautiful wreath hanging from your front door is a wonderful welcome to all your family, friends and neighbors that will visit you over the festive christmas season.

With this easy to follow guide, anyone can make a magnificent door wreath and be the envy of all your neighbors.

There are a number of different base wreaths available to start making your own christmas wreath; You can use a metal frame that you can cover with moss or straw or even directly with noble fir, but the easiest option is to buy a ready made straw wreath base.

These straw bases are widely available from your florist or garden centre in a variety of seizes and are an in-expensive option. Make sure you choose an suitable size for your front door. Remember the finished door wreath will be approx. 3 to 4 inches wider after you add on the Noble Fir.

 

 

Next you need to get some fresh Noblis fir that you can get from your florist or garden centre and a hobby secretaurs and a roll of florist binding wire. A roll of garden twine can be used as a substitute for the wire.

What you need to make a christmas door wreath

 

Next we need to get some Holly with berries from the garden. However this evergreen Holly from my garden did not produce many berries this year and would also blend in to much with the green fir.

 

So I decide to cut some tips from this variegated Holly from my garden.

In order to grow a nice and compact Holly bush it is good to cut the tips of the branches every year, so your doing some important work to your garden at the same time.

 

Now we still have no berries on our Holly. So I decide to take some berries from my Cotoneaster bush. If you can’t find any berries in your garden you can always buy some artificial red berries from your local flower shop or garden centre.

 

Before we start with the making of our wreath we first have to cut our Noblis Fir branch into small twigs. Starting from the top of your branch (as in photo below)  cut off all the nice tips at approx. 4 inches long. You will need 2 to 3 large branches for an average door wreath.

 

Now we start with tying the florist wire firmly to your base, make sure the wire is wrapped over the wreath and from the centre of the wreath under the wreath back towards you.

 

Place the first of your noble fir on your wreath holding it in place with one hand. Start with the larger pieces on the outside and the smaller pieces on the inside of the wreath. All branches need to be pointing in the same direction facing up.

Next while still holding the branches with your same hand lift the wire over the wreath with your other hand and than bring the wire back towards you underneath the wreath. Keep your wire tight at all time and pull the wire firmly do your branches are tightly attached.

 

Keep repeating this process while still covering the cut end of the previously added twigs with the tops of the next layer, moving forward on the wreath by approx 2 inches every time. Remember to always lay every branch in the same direction.

 

When you are almost at the end -or where you began- you may have to cut the bottom of your stems so only the nice tops are viable.

Now secure the end of your florist wire with a so called “German Pin” These can be got from your florist, garden centre or hobby shop.

 

If you are hanging your wreath outside on your door or if you are making a wreath to put onto your table you can protect your door or table from rust and scratching by the wire by covering the the back of your wreath by a ribbon of plastic. Cutting a strip from a black bin liner works perfect.

 

Use the “German pins” on the inside and outside to secure your plastic protection.

Time to start decorating. First choose a nice christmas ribbon. Make sure it is a waterproof and wire-edged ribbon. The wire edge helps you to shape your bow and keep it looking well over the festive season.

We are first attaching a piece of ribbon that we will use later to hang the wreath from your door. Use approx 1 meter of ribbon, bring it around the inside of your wreath with the ends together at the back of the base.

Fold the ends together and attach the ribbon to your wreath using 2 “German Pins”. Keep the pins on the inside (not right at the back) to avoid scratching surfaces to your door.

 

This is how it should look from the front.

Now it’s time for the bow. Cut about 2 meter of ribbon and hold it in the middle lying over your index finger with your thumb holding it on the top. Now while holding the ribbon between thumb and index finger with your other hand fold the ribbon underneath itself , keeping your thumb in position and sliding the fold over your index finger and under neath the centre of the ribbon.  I hope this makes cense and I’m not making it sound more complicated than it really is. Next repeat this step with the other end of the ribbon and you should now have two loops as on the photo below. Repeat both steps to create your double bow.

 

When your bow is complete tie is in the centre tightly with a florist wire. Use this wire to tie your bow to the wreath over the ribbon you attached earlier to hang your wreath from.

 

Lay the straps of your bow across the wreath roughly dividing the wreath into 3 parts.

 

Now add small branches of Holly by pushing the ends into the straw base or by using the “German Pins”. Place two pieces, one on either side beside the bow and one piece at the bottom opposite the bow, again dividing the wreath into 3 sections.

 

Make sure you cut the ends of  your ribbon in a neat way just over the edge of your wreath. The easiest way to do this is by folding the ribbon lengthwise in half and than cutting it at an angle.

 

Now add small bunches of berries into the centre of your holly. The “German Pins” are the easiest way to do this.

 

Next we need to choose the rest of our decorations. For this wreath I have chosen 9 small natural cones and a small bunch of gold, glass baubles. I am using a hot-glue gun to add all these following decorations to my wreath. These glue guns can be bought from hobby shops and some DIY shops. Alternatively you can attach a florist wire to each decoration and push the wire into your straw base.

 

Be careful using your hot glue gun as this gets very, very hot to melt the glue.( do keep away from kids ) Add some glue to your cones and push into place and hold for upto 10 seconds.

 

Place the cones at the base of the Holly leaves, creating 3 neat clusters on your wreath.

 

Repeat the same with your gold baubles.

 

And this the finished product, you own christmas door wreath. When attaching the wreath to your door you can use a heavy duty staple gun to staple the ribbon to the top of your door, when your door is open so after christmas there are no markings on your door.

 

Here’s some examples of christmas door wreaths we have made for our customers at Lamber de Bie Flowers.

Door wreath with cinnamon sticks and dried fruits.

Wreath with natural cones, artificial red berries and red ribbon.

Elegant door wreath with white and silver decorations and white ribbon.

 

Hope you have fun making your own christmas door wreath and please leave a message to this post telling me how you got on.

 

For a look at the full range of Christmas flower by Lamber de Bie Flowers, click on the picture below.

 

Happy Christmas

Lamber de Bie

Dutch Master Florist

http://www.lamberdebie.ie

 


Decorating with Apples


Creating your own table decorations is great fun and does not have to cost much, while you can impress your friends with wonderful, creative decorations for your dinner table.

For this display I used the large Night-Lights that burn for 8 hours. (these can be bought in most good supermarkets). Small night-Lights normally only last 2 hours, and there is nothing more annoying than halfway trough your dinner party the candles are finished and the effect of your hard work is lost.

For this display I used 7 small red apples, 10 orange, large headed roses and some large orange/green Oak leaves (these can be bought in any good florist during September trough to the end of November). Alternatively you can look for autumn leaves in your garden or in the park.

Take your Night-Lights out of the metal cup they come in and place this cup upside down on the apple. With a sharp knife follow the edge of the metal cap only to cut through the skin. Next you can push the metal cap into the apple. You than lift the cap (pierce it with a sharp knife, and lift it) and all there is left to empty out the apple so that the night- light fits into the opening.

Before putting the candle into the apple dry the inside with some tissue paper to avoid the wick getting wet.

To stop the apple becoming brown brush very lightly some oil (cooking oil is perfect) over the fresh cut. This will seal it from the air and stop the browning.

Your roses are cut right at the base of the flower so they will stand up on their own.

All there is left than is to play around with the composition on your table.

As the roses are not in water they will not last longer than a day. After your guests have left you can take your roses and leave them floating in a shallow bowl with water so you will get full pleasure from your displays.

Have Fun, and let me know if you have any ideas.

Lamber de Bie

Dutch Master florist

http://www.lamberdebie.com