Every spring, when our grapefruit tree explodes with blossoms, I have a little freak out. I love that fragrance so much that it makes me a little crazy. And I start trying to figure out ways to grab it and hang onto it, because one moment it’s there, and the next moment, it’s gone.
So this year, I came up with two very different ways to put those blossoms to good use. The first is a lovely little Citrus Blossom Sangria (which you can get the full recipe for over at Drinking with Chickens).
And then, of course, the second is a flower crown, because: flower crowns. I really wanted to be able to wear the blossoms so I could cruise around with that fragrance. Normal. I’m a totally normal human being.
Start by collecting your blossoms. Collect single flowers, as well as small clusters. You want newish blossoms because they not only have the best fragrance, they are the strongest (though citrus blossoms are very weak flowers and fall apart with the slightest bit of pressure–so handle carefully).
Because citrus blossoms are such delicate little flowers, I knew I wanted the crown to be delicate, as well. And I knew I wanted it to have a little copper sparkle. So I began with a fairly thick copper craft wire (12 gauge), and wrapped it once around my head (not too tight, not too loose) to measure size. Taking the wire ‘form’ off my head (hold the wire so that it keeps the wreath shape and size), I doubled the loop so that the crown itself is now two wires thick. Cut the wire and fold the ends to secure the shape. Now take a third section of wire and wrap it around the first two pieces so that you get a lovely sort of twisted-wire-looking base for your crown, as shown in the image below. Be sure to bend wire ends so that they point out from the crown (so they don’t stab you while you’re wearing it).
Now to carefully wire the blossoms. For some reason, I didn’t get a good image of this step, so I am having to demonstrate on a Mexican marigold blossom instead. So just pretend it’s a citrus blossom. I have faith in you.
You are going to use very fine gauge copper craft wire (24 gauge). For a single blossom, you will need an approximately 4″ length of wire. Handling the bloom cautiously, gently insert the end of the wire into the base of the flower, sending it through the flower just until it’s about to appear through the front side of the blossom.
Now you can twist this length of wire around your crown wire to attach the blossom to the crown.
If you have a small cluster of blossoms that you want to attach, you must take your 4 inch length of 24 gauge wire, and make a small loop.
Insert the stem of the blossom bundle into this loop, so that the loop is supporting the bulk of the blossoms. Twist the loose end of the wire around the bundle stem to secure, and then attach the bundle to the crown base as before.
Work in a single direction around the crown, placing one blossom (or blossom bundle), securing it, and then placing the next blossom or bundle so that it is covering the stems of the previous.
Because I wanted to see some copper wire showing, I stopped at about halfway full, and wore it asymmetrically on my gourd.
Use the crown immediately, or store for no more than a day in the fridge.
And, dang, it was lovely to walk around with that perfume all day. Just sayin’.