Christmas carnations

Red carnations make this festive wreath
Kathleen N. Brenzel

Wreaths of puffy red carnations bring fragrance and color to Joanne Johnson's inviting entryway. Nearly invisible fishing line is looped around the tops of the wreaths and attached to the doorjamb with finishing nails to hold in place. For added support and color, ribbons run through the centers of the wreaths and fasten to the top of the door frame with tacks. The wreaths last for a week or more outdoors. (Johnson spritzes the floral foam ring with water from a spray bottle as needed.)

TIME: About 45 minutes

COST: About $25 (plus $60-$90 for carnations)

TOOLS AND MATERIALS

• 3 1/2 feet fishing line (available at hardware stores)
• Clippers and scissors
• 15-inch plastic-backed floral foam ring
• One packet flower preservative
• 75 carnations
• 2 yards ribbon

DIRECTIONS

1. Tie fishing line around the top of the floral foam ring, knotting it and leaving the ends long for hanging.

2. Pour flower preservative into a water-filled tub, stir, then drop in the foam ring. Soak foam for 1 hour. Remove and let drain briefly.

3. Keep carnation stems in water while you work, removing several at a time to add to the wreath. While holding stem tips under water, cut several stems to about 2 inches long. Starting on the inside of the foam ring, poke these shortened stems into the foam so the flower heads sit flat and petals touch. Continue around the inside, then cover the outside; do the front of the wreath last.

4. Hang wreath by fishing line. Add ribbon.