You guys aren't under the impression that everything always turns out perfectly around our cottage, are you? I sure hope not! One of my goals for AOC is to be able to show how easy things like cooking real foods, making gifts, or growing vegetables and flowers can be, so I do try to keep everything positive in a 'you can do it' kind of way. But really. Life is full of failures.
I think I've mentioned all the brick-like loaves of whole wheat bread my family suffered through on my way to making a consistent loaf of delicious ww sandwich bread. Or this attempt at growing fall carrots. And this hilarious first try of sourdough bread. But it's been awhile since I've share a 'real life' kinda post and today's the day to share with you my latest DIY failure: preserving my garden's bounty of boxwood. I adore the preserved boxwood wreaths I've seen all over blogland for the last couple years, but at $50 a pop, it's not really in my budget. And since our cottage is surrounded with boxwoods in all different varieties, I thought I should try to make my own - how hard could it be?
Well, it started out not too bad, actually. I followed these directions, except (hmmm, do you think this is where it all started going wrong?) I didn't bother to weigh anything and I didn't have any floral dye. But I was okay with the natural green - I thought the dye would make it too green. Little did I know.
We enjoyed them as a centerpiece as the boxwood cuttings sat in the solution, but I noticed after a few weeks that they weren't really absorbing the solution - it stayed at the same level in the vases. After a few more weeks mold started growing on top of the solution, at which time I decided to call it good and make the cuttings into a wreath (good call, right?). The leaves were actually flexible, so I thought they were preserved on some level.
Then I found I didn't really have enough to cover the smallish straw wreath I had, and I got lazy with all the gluing and ended up just using floral wiring around the thing - which you can see. Sigh. This was turning out to be a bit tedious for me. I hung it on a mirror in our living room and enjoyed it for about a week, until I noticed it starting to turn a bit brown in areas - after one week. In just three weeks this is what my preserved boxwood wreath looked like:
Not quite the boxwood wreath of my dreams (notice it's not on the mirror anymore, ha!). The thing is, the leaves are supple and flexible still which leads me to believe the floral dye may be crucial? Honestly, though, I'm not sure I want to try again.
Have any of you tried to preserve your own boxwood? Have any hints if you did?