An English garden basket

Assemble this spring bouquet in an hour or less

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An English garden basket

  • An English garden basket

An English garden basket

  • An English garden basket

An English garden basket

  • An English garden basket

An English garden basket

  • English garden basket

An English garden basket

  • An English garden basket

MATERIALS

• One brick of florist's foam, 3 inches high, 4 inches long, and 9 inches wide*

• One green papier-mâché floral basket, 6 inches in diameter*

• One small roll of florist's tape*

• One package of sphagnum moss, at least 8 ounces*

• 3 feet raffia or string*

• Two stems of curly willow, at least 36 inches long

• 12 or more sprigs of ivy, rosemary, or other greenery with pliable stems

• 16 to 20 tall cut flowers, at least three of each kind (Wiley used both blue and yellow-and-white Dutch irises and pink roses)

• 16 or more shorter flowers (Wiley used white freesias, yellow button pompom chrysanthemums, and pink Geraldton waxflowers)

• Florist's scissors or hand pruners to trim stems as needed

*Sold at floral supply shops

DIRECTIONS

1. Immerse the brick of florist's foam in water until thoroughly soaked, about 30 minutes.

2. Drain the brick and cut approximately 2 1/2 inches from its width. Push the brick partway into the basket; it will fit snugly. At least 1 inch of foam should extend above the rim. Firmly secure foam to basket with tape.

3. To conceal the papier-mâché, wrap spaghnum moss around the basket, tying it in place with raffia. Make sure the moss doesn't touch the foam or it will absorb water and possibly dampen a tabletop.

4. To form the handle, insert stems of curly willow into the foam on both sides of the basket, then weave the stems together at the top. Insert ivy stems into the foam on both sides of the basket and twine them around and through the curly willow. Insert additional ivy stems at the front and back of the basket to form a skirt to conceal the foam.

5. Place taller flowers in the basket first, grouping them by kind. Repeat the process with the shorter flowers, using the daintiest blooms to fill in the last few spaces.

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