Waxy anthuriums may suggest steamy tropics, but when you combine them to make a wreath like the one pictured at right, they say happy holidays in a refreshingly Hawaiian way. Many florists and markets sell tropical blooms and foliage, or you can order them directly from the Islands.
TIME: 1 1/2 hours
• 15-inch florist's foam wreath base with plastic backing
• 6 stems medium-size red anthuriums
• 3 stems green anthuriums
• 27 stems 'Madame Butterfly' obake anthuriums
• Florist's clippers or knife
• 5 stems horsetail
• 20-inch length of wood-covered wire or natural raffia
• 4 wood florist's picks (2 1/2 in.) with wire attached
• 2 stems dracaena leaves
• 12 stems bear grass
1. Soak wreath base in water for 30 minutes. Hang it outdoors to drain, about 30 minutes.
2. Soak anthuriums (flowers and stems) in water for 15 minutes. Then cut their stems to 2 to 3 inches long.
3. Insert stems of smaller anthuriums into the foam wreath base, covering the outside first, then the inside, and finally, the front. Flower heads should be nearly flush with the foam. Insert larger anthuriums, spacing them evenly around the front of the wreath form.
4. Cut 2 stems of horsetail into 9 pieces, each about 4 inches long. Tie 3 pieces together with wood-covered wire, and attach the bunch to a wood florist's pick. Carefully insert the pick into wreath. Repeat using the rest of the small pieces.
5. Cut 3 stems of horsetail into 8-inch lengths. Insert horsetail and 2 leaves of dracaena into the upper left side of wreath.
6. Twist bear grass into a loop and fasten with a wood florist's pick. Insert the pick into the wreath just below the horsetail and dracaena leaves.
7. To hang the wreath, place it on a sturdy nail. Every 3 days, remove the wreath and soak it in a tub of water for 15 minutes. Hang it outdoors in a shady area for 30 minutes to allow excess water to drain.