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Greenery Basics

HOW TO CLEAN A GRAPEVINE WREATH BASE:

  1. Take a regular pair of scissors and come around the inside of the grapevine. If there are any leaves, start pulling them out.
  2. Grab a pair of scissors and start weaving them inside to kind of free those leaves. Don’t start poking, stabbing, breaking anything, just loosen the vines to free up the leaves that may be stuck.
  3. Go around the outside and the inside and just kind of trim any stragglers.

HOW TO WORK YOUR GREENERY INTO YOUR GRAPEVINE:

When working with wired stems, take your stems and bend them the direction that you’re going.

  • Do not stab them through.
  • Weave the stems into the grapevine.
  • The bend allows it to become one with the woven grapevine. It also prevents any sharp pointed edges that may scratch a door.

If it looks cluttered, or if you’re adding things because it doesn’t look balanced to you, instead of adding more, what you can do is take things and cluster them together because you want to have focal points.

  • If you’re adding things because it looks like it’s missing something, try clustering things together for different focal points and try to move your focal points in the shape of a triangle. Working in 3s really helps.

Working stems in individually:

  • Bend the end of the stem before weaving into the grapevine.
  • Weave each stem at the top, middle, and bottom to create a lighter greenery base compared to adding them as a whole.

Use your bow as a guide to where your greenery will transition to that mirrored look in comparison to the top.

Do not line up your greenery in an exact row. Allow it to look natural and full.

Ficus:

You can use ficus a couple of ways: as a whole or as a base.

As a whole:

  • Put the whole stem in and make a big wow impact
    • Spread out the leaves and bend them in the direction of the grapevine. If not, you’ll end up with a big flag just sticking straight up.
  • When adding another layer of ficus, you don’t want it to sit one on top of another.
    • Add your ficus just below the first one, weaving in the direction of the grapevine to create a soft layering effect.
    • It should lay about ¾ of the way into the next.
    • When you’re adding other greenery to create depth, texture, and volume. You have a space to do that.
  • When you’re creating layers on the bottom side of the wreath to slightly mirror the top greenery, you’re going to bend the stems in the direction of the grapevine again.
    • For the greenery at the bottom, let it flow downward. That way it doesn’t look like you have an unfinished wreath.

As a base:

  • Don’t add them as whole stems.
  • Using a stem cutter trim the smaller branches that shoot off the main stem.
    • Anytime you cut any that goes into the wreath, cut down by the trunk. That way you have the entire stem to work with. You can always cut some off but you can never add more.
  • Bend the end of the stem before weaving into the grapevine.
  • Weave each stem at the top, middle, and bottom to create a lighter greenery base compared to adding them as a whole.
  • You’ll have lots of gaps in here and that’s purposeful, because when you’re adding ficus as a base, it makes such a good base layer for a couple of reasons.
    • One because it’s long.
    • Two because it’s dark. It adds a good dark base layer.
    • So I’m going to want something lighter to come in and chop this up and add richness, fullness and texture.

Adding another layer of greenery:

  • Use something that’s equally long if not a slight bit shorter than your first layer.
  • Cut off the individual stems at the base of the main stem.
  • Weave that into the grapevine to add richness, fullness, depth, and texture.
    • Work in between the base layer to make it appear more natural.

Bushes:

  • You can add greenery bushes to create a full greenery base.
  • Incorporate long stem flowers above and below them
  • You can also bob and weave some long stem flowers in between them.

Big leaves:

  • Adding them as a bunch
    • Fan out each big leaf and face everything out in the same direction.
    • If the bunch is big enough you can create a starburst effect having them fan out with a clear focal point.
  • Let them be the main backdrop. Trying to stuff more greenery looks a bit off.

Waterfall:

  • Don’t start the cascade of the wreath too far down from the wreath base.They should start at the bottom of the wreath base itself.
  • Start your waterfall around the 8 o’clock position on the wreath.
  • You can use zip ties and pipe cleaners to keep its shape against the grapevine.

Suggested greenery:

  • Boxwood
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fern
  • Ficus
  • Vanilla orchid
  • Magnolia leaves