I just love the smell of summer. To me it means the scent of chamomile in bloom, hints of lavender, wafts of sage, the sweet sourness of lemon balm. Herbs amaze me in so many ways. Is it weird to say I’m a bit smitten with them?
To capture this coveted summertime smell and surround myself with it even when I’m not in the garden, I worked with our Hiland Hall Garden students to create aromatherapy wreaths. This spring, our grapevines were a bit out of control, so with some needed pruning we ended up with the perfect framing materials for our aromatherapy wreaths.
- Wreath base: If you don’t have grapevines available, you can purchase a straw wreath from any craft store.
- Twine or heavy carpet thread if you’re using grapevine; ∏ pins if you’re using a straw wreath
- Herbs: We incorporated rosemary for its uplifting and rejuvenating properties. Lavender was an essential herb to include because of its proven relaxing effects. We also incorporated bee balm, marjoram, roses, purple coneflower, lambs ears, lemon-scented thyme and lovage simply because they smell lovely, look gorgeous, and dry easily. You can also add a few cuttings of Flower Carpet roses when they’re still in bud to add some lovely color.
How to do it:
Step 1: To create the aromatherapy wreaths, the first step was to create the wreath frame. We used our grapevine and first created a basic circle. Next, we wove the grapevine in and out through the circle until we achieved the desired size and girth (at least 6-8 times to add structure and strength). Make certain to tuck the ends into the wrapped area or use thin wire to hold the ends to the frame.
There is no wrong way to do this. We ended up with some wreaths the size of steering wheel, some the size of a stop sign, and still others the diameter of a small plate. Some wreaths were thin and some were thick. As long as your wreath feels sturdy and the grapevine is wound and bound into it tightly… success!
Step 2: Gather the desired herbs. We went to our herb garden and snipped lots of herbs to arrange on the wreaths (Remember, as the herbs dry, they’ll shrink). I feel like it works better to gather a bunch of herbs that you like, then arrange, rather than trying to come up with some preconceived idea about what it will look like. As the wreath develops you may realize that bee balm will make the perfect accent, but you won’t make that realization if you don’t bring it to the table. So, gather your variety of herbs and lay out on the table for easy viewing.
Step 3: Arrange your aromatherapy wreath. One successful trick is to create a pattern with the herbs. Begin with a bunch of rosemary, then bee balm, then lavender, and repeat around the wreath. Or you could decide to do the whole wreath with one herb, accenting with small amounts of another here and there. Again, there is no wrong way to do this, only your way.
After you have decided on your arrangement, use twine or heavy carpet thread to attach your herbs to the wreath. You will have to tie your twine about every four to five inches around your wreath for it to be truly secured. Add a loop of twine to the top for hanging.
When your wreath is finished, hang it in a place where it won’t be disturbed. The herbs will dry right on the wreath, filling your space with the lovely scents of summer. As herbs lose their smell, you can always replenish your wreath with new cuttings.
Breathe deeply and enjoy!
Click here for more easy herb wreath-creation tips and ideas!