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Book Review: Seasonal Flower Arranging

If you feel that the flower bouquets  from supermarkets or FTD are repetitious and boring you might find Ariella Chezar’s book, Seasonal Flower Arranging, a welcome surprise.  With a commitment to the farm to vase movement, Chezar makes use of local plant material to make floral creations that reflect the essence of the season that produces them.  As a professional floral designer the author uses blooms along with branches and foliage to create her distinctive designs in the tradition of English maven Constance Spry and shares detailed instructions for creating 39 of her floral works of art.

Introductory material includes suggestions for color schemes, choosing and harvesting floral material, principles of flowering arranging, using arrangements to best advantage, and establishing a cutting garden with lists of easy to grow perennials, annuals, and woody shrubs.  Detailed instructions for 39 arrangements are organized by season and are introduced by lists of the bulbs, perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees available during that season.  The step by step instructions include a list of all the plant material needed plus alternatives, and a photograph of the completed arrangement. The plant material is the star of each arrangement and may be as simple as a few stems of clematis or as complex as a bouquet of 7 different kinds of plant material.  The selection of herbs, fruits, and vegetables as well as flowers and foliage reflect the unique qualities of each season.  The vases are usually simple and play a secondary role so are not a big issue when trying to recreate the arrangement.   Some of the most beautiful  arrangements were a winter bouquet of flowering quince, amaryllis, protea, and hellebores,  a spring bouquet of fritillaria, dogwood, and ranunculus, a fall arrangemet of Black Lace’ elderberberry branches with five different kinds of flowers in different shades of purple. A crown for a May wedding, a wreath of rosemary branches, leaves, and grasses to celebrate fall, and a blue and white table for Hanukkah all bring nature into the home.

This English style of flower arranging is not to everyone’s taste but it is becoming more and more popular in the US and Chezar’s book is a good resource.  The arrangements she presents are meant to provide inspiration rather than be slavishly copied and they do that in spades.  Unfortunately the abundant photographs have no captions and if you are not familiar with the plants you may have difficulty following the instructions.

 

To buy Seasonal Flower Arranging from Amazon.com click here.