What better time than spring to seek gift wrap inspiration from the garden. After the hiatus of winter, plants are budding, blooming, and fruiting, these tips of new growth provide interesting clippings for topping a special gift. (Ahem, Mother's Day is this weekend.)
For advice and guidance we turned to floral designer Christina Hartman of Wildheart, her untamed, natural style always draws our eye, as does her devotion to sourcing what is growing locally either from her own backyard or neighboring farmers and growers.
"I take the lead from what is available outside," Christina tells us. Building upon what's in season is a signature of her work, and the heart of farm-to-vase approach at Wildheart, the floral and event design business she founded four years ago.
Christina's love of flowers has lead her down a path of elevating her yard to a certified flower farm (though she modestly refers to it as her cutting garden.) Eclectic and a bit untamed, going gathering with Christina there is an exercise in noticing the subtle beauty of things an untrained eye would easily skim over. She expertly hones in on snips-of-this and clippings-of-that, gathered together it magically creates the loose, organic floral style that brides book months and months in advance for.
Topping off your next gift is as simple as walking outside and clipping something growing right around you. For knock-out botanical toppers Christina says, "be on the lookout for the interesting and unexpected—seed pods, fruit on the branch, stems in bud."
A cluster of just-forming fruit, like these soft pastel peaches, offer a lovely, yet unexpected gift topper. A sprig of baby citrus or apples would work just as well. And this time of year, you're likely to find a cluster of both fruit and blossoms—total score.
"I think simple is best, honestly," she says matter of factly. Christina naturally gravitates to cool, soft hues and errs towards a minimalist approach. We couldn't keep her from the soft grays and lavender seen below.
Choosing the right ribbon helps further your statement. Jutes and twines are a natural fit with botanical gift toppers, but sometimes the occasion calls for something more. The hand-dyed silk ribbon and antique lace photographed here were from Christina's private collection, "obviously I'd save that for a special gift for a girlfriend, not one of the kids."
Of course, sometimes you just want to go for a BOLD look and make a statement. A magnificently big, untamed bloom or two can always do the trick— this lace and rose combo is simply swoon-worthy. Another idea that is almost effortless, yet really pops, is to add a bold leaf to a geometric pattern.
But what's the trick to tying everything together into a cohesive look that's more Martha Stewart and less Pinterest Fail?
"Try to find things you know won’t die within an hour, like succulents or woody stems," was another bit of advice she shared. We can attest that one little geranium and protea bouquet she made held up for days after our photoshoot and the succulents below are already set into soil to propagate—a gift that keeps on giving.
From a design perspective, Christina tell us she looks to compliment the paper patterns through layering textures or picking up on an accent color. This bundle of silvery succulent sprigs offers a texture-rich topper that pops perfectly off the patterned paper, not to mention how divinely the citrine accent color is picked up within the bouquet.
Of course blooms are a great way to pick up a color, but so are the leaves. The deep burgundy veins in the geranium leaves here complement the rosy tones Christina was playing with in this earthy, romantic combination. Paper: Beach House by Bunglo
With your gathered clippings lay out loose pairings on your paper to find the perfect combinations of cuttings and ribbon. Christina's trade practice is to then "put together small posys and cinch," she tells us, " keep everything hydrated [in water] until the last minute when you need to add it to the gift." (Of course, be sure to dry off the wet ends before adding atop your paper.) A great tip for keeping a delicate combo like this nasturtium and rose posy looking great until delivery time.
And if your gift is a bouquet of flowers themselves, wrap it, too! Add an extra thoughtful touch by wrapping in a sheet of Wrappily and tying with a big bow, the reversible patterns offer a really fun touch. Who wouldn't love receiving this gorgeous bouquet?
Eco-friendly and adorably chic, Wrappily uses neighborhood newspaper presses to print great patterns on 100% recyclable and compostable newsprint—an answer to the millions of tons of trash attributed to wrapping paper every year. This smart, new take on wrapping paper is an idea who's time has come. Our founder set out on her mission to green-up giving in 2013, a journey filled with marvelously talented people who are creating amazing patterns for our wrapping paper. After all, we believe in beautifully wrapped gifts, but not at the expense of the environment.