I was pleased to design the International Floral Expo booth in Miami, FL for Mellano and Company again this year. We had very enthusiastic responses to our new bouquet lines and fresh California-grown products. One focal point of the booth was my 4-foot sun made of Yarrow, Crespedia and Willow. In fact a lot of people wanted their picture taken in front of it. I thought I’d share with you how to make this stunning design piece. You can make it as large or small as you want, and use your imagination to make it your own!


  • 3/8” or 1/2” Plywood
  • 4” Thick Styrofoam Sheets
  • White Glue
  • Chicken Wire
  • Staple Gun
  • Yarrow – 9 bunches or 90st per square ft.
  • Crespedia (Billy Balls) – 1 bu per square ft.
  • Curly Willow Tips – 2 bunches per foot

The sun I created for the show had a 42″ base. If your sun is larger than 18” you will need a wood back to support the Styrofoam. You can buy precut circles from your lumber yard or create a compass by finding the center of your piece of wood and use a string to draw a perfect circle. Cut the circle out with a jigsaw, and place sheets of Styrofoam on top cut to fit. Use white glue to attach to the wood base. Cover Styrofoam with chicken wire and staple tightly to the back of the wood. Good mechanics give you a solid piece that will travel and hang well.

Cut your fresh Yarrow stems about 4 – 5” below the head start inserting the them close together and at least 1 ½” into the Styrofoam. (Yarrow will shrink when dried) Start from the center working out right to the edge in rows. Split the circle up by working in rows like a clock or a pizza pie. So from the center go to 12:00,2:00 4:00 6:00 o clock etc. This will give the sun an even amount of product and give you the opportunity to give it more of a domed shape. Then fill in the rest of your sun. As a finishing touch, add small clusters of 2-3 Crespedia flowers to give it texture and dimension. For the sun’s rays I used curly willow tips. I clustered and taped them to greening sticks for easier insertion. For the rays you can also use dyed & preserved material in fire colors, such as oak leaves, emerald palm, grasses. Yarrow and Crespedia will maintain most of their color and dry beautifully.