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Book Review: Seasonal Flower Arranging

Florist Ariella Chezar shares her love of flowers and her knowledge of  changing plant material throughout the year in her book Seasonal Flower Arranging.  With a strong interest in buying flowers locally as they reach their peak, she reveals the secrets of her success as a floral designer and provides instructions for completing 39 floral projects for holidays, special occasions and daily enjoyment.  Topics include creation of a cutting garden, how to harvesting plant material from the garden or the wild, tools of the trade, basic mechanics and techniques, and the best ways to use arrangements to enhance a home or other venue.  

The arrangements are presented in 4 groups according to season beginning with spring.  Each group begins with lists of the bulbs, perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees that can provide flowers, foliage, fruit and other plant material for the arrangements during that season.  Individual entries for the arrangements include a labeled photograph of all the plant material used in the arrangement,  lists of the plant material and hard goods, alternate flowers, step-by-step instructions, and a photograph of the competed arrangement.  Chezar has a loose romantic style and makes use of fruits, vegetables, vines and branches as well as seasonal flowers and foliage.  She favors tone on tone color schemes with variations in texture and shape to provide complexity and interest.  Some of the most interesting and eye-catching works are her midwinter fern circle, summer fruits and roses, and violet and mustard Thanksgiving table.

The text is written in an easy to read style with personal anecdotes fit in to add human interest.  Although the instructions are clear, some of the plant material may be difficult to find.  For example, the variegated pink ‘Eureka’ lemons still on their branch, might be difficult to source even on the Internet.  Although alternate plant material is given I wonder if the foxglove and/or phlox would substitute well for roses and dahlias as suggested.  Chezar makes it clear that she hopes her works will inspire others to create arrangements all of their own, and that, of course, is ideal.  She has many wonderful ideas and subtle techniques that can go a long way to aid floral designers of all levels from beginner to expert.

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