How to make icy-pole Christmas decorations
Succulents are really popular in the garden, so why not bring them to your table setting as well? The first thing you'll need to do is to remove them from their pots. Just loosen the soil by squeezing the sides of the pot, then slide out. Shake off any excess soil over the garden and tidy up any unruly roots with a pair of scissors so they will fit nicely into the wreath.
Once you've removed all the plants from their pots, set them aside for a while to dry their roots out. This will prevent them from rotting in the sphagnum moss, which will be the base of the wreath. Cut your succulents so they have about 1–2 inches of stem. Do this a couple of days before you start your project so the ends have time to form a callus.
Grab a bucket of water and your block of sphagnum moss and gently break it apart in the bucket so it's all hydrated. The moss will retain its moisture once you've fitted it to your wreath and your little succulents will be able to draw the water up through their roots, keeping them alive.
Grab your wire wreath base – we picked ours up from a craft shop, which stocked a variety of sizes – and a handful of wet moss. Squeeze out excess moisture, and bit by bit, place the moss around the wreath, securing with wire as you go. Once all your moss has been laid, do a final wrap with your wire, and then cut off any excess wire with some pliers.
This is the fun bit – add your plants! Poke a hole in the moss where you'd like to put the succulents' roots through the holes in the moss. It's a good idea to arrange your plants before you attach them in order to make sure you have your positioning right. Think about variety, colour and size when deciding where everything will go to keep the balance right. To help hold any large or loose succulents in place, use floral pins – they're available from most craft stores.
Hang your wreath on your front door, or lay it out on your Christmas table. How beautiful does it look? Remember to keep your succulent out of direct sunlight for a week, then gradually introduce it to the sun. Ideally you'll want to create this at least a week before your Christmas lunch celebrations. The best part is – it will last long after the festive season winds up, hanging around for up to six months! Just soak your wreath in a bucket of water every one–three months when it gets dry. Or you could take your little plants out and re-pot them for a second lease on life – they'll stick around for years!