grown they will take an increasingly important place in the held of flower arrangement. Indeed, there is virtually nothing that can be done with other materials that cannot be done with succulents, and much, much more besides.
The last but certainly not the least way of using succulents in the home is in making corsages. The same interesting forms, subtle colors, and lasting qualities that make succulents prized plants for arrangements make them ideal materials for corsage work too. It is difficult to imagine more exciting flowers for formal wear than epiphyllums and zygocacti, or more durable subjects for informal wear than tailored clusters of echeveria and sedum. Yet despite their unique beauty and richness these corsages are easily made with the simplest techniques and materials.
The only equipment required is a pair of scissors, wire cutters, florist's wire in several gauges, and a roll of narrow green or brown parafilm stemming tape. The wire should be cut in twelve-inch lengths, using number eighteen wire for the largest powers and heaviest leaves or rosettes; number twenty-two medium wire for smaller, lighter ones; and number twenty-six fine or number thirty extra-fine wire for the smallest, The lightest possible gauge should be used in every case to reduce the weight of the finished corsage
The flowers, rosettes, or leaves to be used must be fresh and perfect in all respects and preferably picked m the early morning or just before use. To insure good composition there should be a variety of colors, textures "and sizes ranging from light buds to mature specimens.
To illustrate the process of making a corsage we might select a small epiphyllurn or zygocactus blossom. A length of florist's wire is pushed through the stem of the flower just below the base or the petals until it projects about four inches
on ihe other side. Then the long end is bent down parallel to the stem and the short end carefully bent and wound spirally Irom the base of I he blossom down over the stem and long wire. For very heavy blossoms or rosettes another wire may be inserted in the stem at right angles to the first and wound down similarly. Two or three turns are sufficient to hold the flower firmly, and any excess stem below these turns may be snipped off to lighten the finished corsage. If any length of short wsre remains it can be twisted down the long stem wire until it is used up.
To conceal this wiring we take the flower in our left hand and attach and overlap one end of the stemming tape high around the base ol the flower. Then with the roll of tape in our right hand the flower is evenly twirled between the fingers and the self-sticking tape automatical!v feeds off the roll down the stem to ihe end of the wire- When all the blossoms m: I ■
have been similarly wired and wrapped, they are carefully arranged as ihey are to appear in the finished corsage and securely wired together, iTie wire stems can be left as they are, or trimmed evenly and tied with a bow, or wound into curlicues around a pencil ur finger and bent back among the blossoms. The technique of wiring single leaves and rosettes, of making bows and other corsage accessories cannot he described in detail here, but any good book on corsage-making will supply the know-how 10 turn the succulents we grow in our homes into beautiful and lasting floral pieces.
While succulents are ideal plants for almost any purpose indoors. they really reach their greatest beauty and usefulness in the garden. And this usefulness is not limited to just those frost-free areas of California, Florida, and the Southwest where they can be grown in the open the year round; but it extends to the North and East, where gardeners iiave found many new and exciting ways to use succulents out of doors in their summer gardens. Certainly no other plants can bring such colors and textures, such versatility and ruggedness to landscaping, And no others are so easy to grow and maintain out of doors.
The histoiy of succulents in the garden has been a long and checkered one. It probably began with a few adventurous growers who dared to summer their cherished house plants out of doors and found them healthier and more beautiful than ever before. And so they began growing succulents on patios and porches, on walls and in the garden. Then came the elaborate patterned beds of the Victorian era, marvels of industry and imitation. And the hopelessly literal "cactus gardens" of the twenties, which were really geological col-l0ns ovemin with plants and props.
Now we have our own renascence of interest in succulents,
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