Any time I’m in a bookstore or our local library I inevitably find myself in the garden section. Even when exercising great restraint, I can never seem to leave empty handed.
After writing Cut Flower Garden and working on subsequent book projects I am all the more appreciative of what it takes to make a great book. A lot of love, sweat and tears are poured into each and every paragraph and every photo taken. Anyone who is willing to devote so much of themselves to a creative venture is a hero in my eyes.
Even though I have spent the last 15 years fully immersed in flowers, I am constantly learning new things. My personal library is overflowing with hundreds of books on the subject and every year it grows considerably. Every time a new title is published, I order a copy to add to my collection.
Here are a few highlights of the newest flower-focused books to hit the market.
In Bloom: Growing, Harvesting & Arranging Homegrown Flowers All Year Round Hands down my favorite new title this year. This beautiful new book by U.K. writer Clare Nolan will finally be available in the U.S. this month. I had a chance to review it prior to publication and was so impressed that I shared my praise on the back cover which reads, “Thoughtfully organized and beautifully designed, this lovely book shares space on the shelf with all of my favorite books.” In addition to covering everything you need to know about growing and enjoying homegrown flowers all year long, the abundance of inspiring photos kept me glued to the pages from beginning to end. This book is a must add to your flower library. If you’re a fan of Cut Flower Garden, you will absolutely love this book.
Tree in the House: Flowers for Your Home, Special Occasions and Every Day I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Instead of quickly flipping through the pages to look solely at the gorgeous photos, I was completely absorbed by author Annabelle Hickson’s storytelling. A journalist by training, Annabelle’s words pair perfectly with the wild, free-form designs of largely foraged flowers and branches that grace the pages and beautiful velum chapter dividers of this book. She has a gift of artfully weaving in bits of history along with hilarious quotes from people as varied as prominent gardeners to her sweet husband. Her philosophies about design and life I found to be refreshingly practical and relatable.
Flora Forager ABC This adorable alphabet book by Bridget Beth Collins, aka Flora Forager, features animals starting with angel fish and going to zebra, each brilliantly created with flower petals, leaves and other natural materials. I’ve been a huge fan of Bridget’s work for years (read my previous interview with her here) and particularly love her creative Instagram feed. For all of her floral artwork, Bridget forages and gathers botanical ingredients from her garden and natural areas in the Pacific Northwest. This absolutely charming book is a perfect gift for the nature loving kiddos (and their mamas) in your life.
We Are the Gardeners Written by Joanna Gaines and her kids and beautifully illustrated with watercolors by Julianna Swaney, this charming new book is a must-have addition to your children’s library. This sweet story chronicles the adventures (and misadventures) of the Gaines kids as they grow vegetables and flowers in their garden. All the gals on the Floret Team have told me how much they have loved reading this book to their wee ones.
Seasonal Flower Arranging Like everything she touches, Ariella Chezar’s latest book is pure magic. As I state on the back cover, “Ariella’s exquisite approach to color and composition have made her one of the most sought after and highly regarded designers of our time. Her work has greatly influenced my own and has inspired an entire generation of floral designers seeking to connect more closely with nature and tie their work to the seasons…This gorgeous new book will be the go-to gift for every flower lover in my life.”
The Flower Fix: Modern Arrangements for a Daily Dose of Nature This soon-to-be-released title is another lovely addition to my floral design bookshelf. I’ve long enjoyed following Swallows and Damsons on Instagram and enjoyed learning a little more about Anna’s creative process and the way she uses flowers to tell a story. I particularly appreciated how she described her ideal frame of mind when creating an arrangement as, “finding a place somewhere between chaos and order, where the wild rules.”
The Flower Expert: Ideas and Inspiration for a Life with Flowers From the opening line of, “I was once arrested for stealing magnolias…” I was enchanted with this book from Australian floral designer Fleur McHarg. With a great eye and approach to using color in her designs, Fleur highlights her favorite flowers and shares insights and photos from some of the most elegant events she’s designed, including a gorgeous wedding set within a potting shed.
Blooms This newly released book showcases the work of my friend Susan McLeary of Passionflower along with more than 70 other established and up-and-coming floral designers from across the globe who are turning heads with their floral art, unique installation pieces and contemporary approaches to design. Tucked among the pages showcasing edgy floral art are designs by some of the leaders of the seasonal flower movement including Ariella Chezar, Amy Merrick, Gabriela Salazar of La Musa de las Flores, Rachel Siegfried of Green and Gorgeous and several other designers featured in The Farmer & the Florist Interview series.
The Flower Patch Although technically not a book, this lovely publication is brimming with great information and photos. The latest issue of this U.K.-based magazine includes articles about growing flowers in a small plot, simple design ideas, plus some super cute pull-out seed organizers for home gardeners. I was honored to have Floret featured in its pages.
What flower or garden books have you read or discovered lately? Any books not on this list that we should add? Share your recommendation in the comments below. Please note that if your comment does not appear right away it is because we have a spam filter that requires us to manually approve each one. Just hang tight and we’ll get it posted.
UPDATE: A big congratulations to our 10 book giveaway winners: Charlene Grant, Michael Aurzada, Kate Swanson, Shelly Schember, Shelley Shelling, Erin Williams, Jesse Dandon, Katy Noelle, Rachel Hansberry and Heather Hengel.