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Workbench Basics
Potted pizzazz

Try these three easy options for dressing up chrysanthemum plants.

Stores everywhere will be rolling out potted chrysanthemums by the dozens as the official start to fall approaches. How can your department make its mum offerings the most appealing to consumers? Much of the answer lies in the packaging. Here are three quick ways to make your mums ready for grab-and-go gift-giving or display and in the process boost their value and potential selling prices.

garland garnish
A woody Smilax wreath makes a simple accent when draped over a clay pot to enhance these sunny yellow chrysanthemums. A bit of moss hides the soil inside the pot and helps the plant retain moisture. The clean, unembellished container and enhancement allow the flowers to shine.

HOW TO: Place the chrysanthemums into a clay pot, and cover the soil’s surface with moss. Hook a Smilax wreath around the pot, resting on its back edge. Insert wired wooden picks through the wreath and into the dirt, wiring around the wreath in order to keep it secure.

MATERIALS: Smilax wreath from Knud Nielsen; chrysanthemums, moss, clay pot and wired wooden picks from favorite suppliers.


wrapped delight
Two types of wraps are used in this arrangement to add volume and drama to the potted chrysanthemums. A sheet of gold wrap already cut into a square makes the assembly a cinch, and dividing the mesh sheets into halves that are formed into fans adds volume and size to the plant to give the appearance of a double-wrapped presentation.

HOW TO: Place a strip of double-sided tape around the pot rim. Center the pot on a square sheet of wrapping, and gather the wrapping around the pot. Tie with raffia. Cut square sheets of mesh wrap in half. Fan out the edge of each half sheet and secure the ends to wired wooden picks. Pick the fans into
the pot.

MATERIALS: Precut sheet and precut Mezzo Mesh Square from Temkin International; chrysanthemums, raffia, wired wooden picks and double-sided tape from favorite suppliers.



leafy blooms
A natural fall pairing for the sunny chrysanthemum is the oak leaf, in its varied auburn hues of fall. Here leaves on their natural stems are massed around the edges for a lush look. A cellophane-encased kraft paper covering for the pot is assembled to give crisp lines and longevity, but it is unobtrusive so the flowers and the leaves are the stars.

HOW TO: Layer a square of kraft paper between two sheets of clear cellophane, to protect the paper and keep it dry. Fold the wraps around the pot, creating crisp pleats. Staple the edges of the pleats, including the plastic pot rim, to keep them in place. Stuff the perimeter of the chrysanthemum pot with stems of preserved oak leaves.

MATERIALS: Preserved oak leaves from Knud Nielsen; clear cellophane from Highland Supply Corporation; chrysanthemums and kraft paper from favorite suppliers.

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