This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The London Journal of Horticulture tells how these are made in England : " It should be nine to ten inches in diame ter, the surface slightly convex, broken occa sionally by a raised flower or spray of Maidenhair Fern, Selaginella caesia, or Pelargonium filicifolium odoratum. Three or four stems may be left long enough to reach to the bottom of the bouquet-holder, but all the others should be shortened to an inch or two, enveloped in damp cotton wool, which is bound on securely with fine brass wire, enough wire being left on to form an artificial stem. Prepare sufficient flowers and spray beforehand, and also have ready a handful of damp cotton wool; then proceed from the centre outwards, not with formal circles, each of one kind of flower, but with a skilful, tasteful blending of form with form sufficiently to impart relief and variety. Or there may be a grouping of three or four flowers of each sort without any approach to heaviness. Prevent crowding and confusion by pads of the damp cotton wool between the flowers, drawing out the wool of each pad at the bottom sufficiently to enable you to twist it two or three times around one of the wire stems, so that there may be no risk of any being shaken out while the bouquet is being used.
The damp wool also serves to keep the flowers fresh and unwithered. If the bouquet has to be made some hours before it is used, avoid all flowers that shed easily - white Jasmine is very prone to shed its flowers soon after they are cut. Twist the wire stems securely together so that no flower can be displaced, and make the bottom of the bouquet level, so that the bouquet paper may easily be slipped up close under the flowers and kept there by sewing it to them with a needle and white cotton".