Friday, April 8, 2011

Fresh Flower Arranging by Mark Welford and Stephen Wicks

Fresh Flower Arranging offers step-by-step designs for making the perfect fresh flower arrangements for your home, office or special event. It's filled with tips of the trade and valuable information that will have your pieces looking fresh and beautiful for days.

Great book! It's beautiful as well as informative. There are instructions for 70 flower arrangements to either make or get inspired by. The authors, who are ex-ballet dancers who've moved on to their secondary careers, have created some absolutely stunning arrangements. With the help of a fantastic photographer, Carolyn Barber, this book shows off their work exquisitely.

I love that the book starts off with principles. The theory section offers guidelines on design elements for making successful flower arrangements. The care section provides an equipment list and shows you how to care for your arrangement. The skills section details the steps needed to complete some basic arrangements as well as other tips for arranging flowers. The basics are important in any craft.

The rest of the book features step-by-step instructions with large photos and very good explanations on how to complete the projects. Each has a large photograph of the finished project along with a list of flowers used (with photos), other materials needed, substitutions and insider tips to complete the project.

There are a number of coordinating floral arrangements for weddings no matter the season. There are designs for boutonnieres, bouquets, pew ends, and table centrepieces. All are really lovely.

There are so many beautiful arrangements it was hard to choose some favourites. The following are the ones that stood out for me:
Rose Topiary (pages 108-111) - I'm partial to any topiaries so it's no surprise to me that I loved this one. It left me speechless.
Floral cupcakes (pages 122-123) - I'm not a huge cupcake fan, but this arrangement using a wire cupcake stand and a variety of pink flowers (hydrangeas, roses, peonies) was just delightful. I think it would be perfect for a bridal shower or better yet a baby (girl) shower.
Towering liatris - (pages 228-229). When we lived in the city, I had a number of liatris growing in the garden. This arrangement is simple yet stunning.
Gerbera in Lines (pages 248-249) I love daisy-like flowers. These are presented in a fun, whimsical and beautiful way.

The table of contents is basic and only lists the very high-level sections, although, it does have pages numbers for the individual wedding collections. That'll be handy for those looking for that kind of thing. The index is pretty extensive. I found a lot of the items I was looking for, including individual flower types, vase types, arrangement types and many other items specific to this craft. The authors have included a resource list at the back of the book complete with addresses (web and some snail mail) for the major floral societies, organizations, flower markets, florists, suppliers and home ware stores in the USA and Canada.

Highly recommended for lovers of flesh flowers. If you have a garden and love bringing fresh cut flowers into the house for display, you'll most likely enjoy this book. I can't wait for this snow to melt so I can get out into the garden. When I have some blooms to use, I'll be attempting a few of these projects.

For more information about this book, please visit DK's website.

I'd like to thank Chris at DK Canada for this review copy.

Fresh Flower Arranging by Mark Welford and Stephen Wicks, Dorling Kindersley (DK), ©2011. ISBN 9780756658595(Hardcover), 256p.

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