Despite dreams of an English country garden where I have a continuous show of colour from early spring to fall, my garden looks best in mid-spring when there are still some bulbs blooming along with a large splash of pink from my peonies.
So it’s mainly in spring when my house sees vases, pitchers or containers of flowers from my garden – daffodils, tulips, lilacs and more.
But one day, I hope, I will have what some people call a cutting garden. For now, I will continue to sigh over the glorious flowers in DK Book’s The Flower Book Let The Beauty of Each Bloom Speak for Itself, Natural Flower Arrangements for your Home by Rachel Siegfried ($50).
The Flower Book offers tips on choosing containers as well as supports for the flowers that will go inside of them. It also offers a step-by-step guide on how to arrange flowers, including information such as selecting a colour palette for both flowers and foliage and what Siegfried calls the three ‘Fs’ – foliage, focal flowers and final flourish, expanding on each stage so people can create their own masterpieces.
The rest of the book offers a closer look at 60 flowers, each showcased over a double page spread offering a description as well as size and longevity, colour and fragrance. Each flower also has information under the headings of In the garden; Conditioning; Display and Care. And then there is a glorious macro-photo of each flower.
The book also offers 30 sample floral arrangements, breaking down what flowers and plants you’ll need to replicate the arrangement as well as how to arrange the plants and flowers and the care it will need.
While the examples are beautiful, I wonder what is the point.
While the flowers used in arrangements are offered in season, it’s unlikely most people have bupleurum or eucalyptus stems or sea holly flowers growing in their gardens. And while I would love to create the Coral and Pink arrangement using hornbeam branches, peonies, lady’s mantle stems and sweet pea stems, I am not going to as I would have to buy most of the items mentioned, and I don’t have any idea what I should switch them with.
I feel rather then telling us how to care for the arrangement Siegfried created, she should have offered more general information such as why she chose those flowers and plants, what she was trying to create with her arrangement and how we can duplicate it using what we have on hand. The book, as far as I am concerned, doesn’t give me enough information to create similar arrangements on my own.
So while the book is beautiful, I don’t think it’s a how-to guide, but rather a look at some of the flowers you can plant in your garden so that one day you can showcases them in your house.
However, before you plant some of the glorious flowers and stems in your garden, please ensure they are native to Canada as the book was written by a U.K. gardener.
A copy of this book was provided by DK for a honest review.