The Flower Recipe Book by Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo
I love flower arranging. It's one of those little things that just makes me really happy, and I'm always looking for more ideas and inspiration for creating seasonal, natural looking arrangements. When I came across this book in a shop recently I couldn't let it go. There was just no way it was not coming home with me! Have a look at these pictures and you'll see why.
The book is arranged alphabetically by flower type. Each flower type has at least two 'recipes', some simple and some elaborate. The recipes start with an ingredient list, which tells you what flowers are required and how many stems of each, and a recommended vessel. Most recipes are illustrated with step by step photo instructions, which tell you exactly what to add and in what order. This is what is so great for me, as I often have problems with my arrangements flopping. Is it because I don't have enough stems or because I'm adding things in the wrong order? I think that once I've practised with a few of these recipes I'll have a better idea.
The big, beautiful photos throughout are eye candy in themselves. And I really like that most of the flowers and foliage used in the book are ones that are easily grown at home, so I already have a lot of them in my garden. (Except snowberries... which are now on the top of my list for next time I want to buy a shrub to plant.)
Here's my first arrangement based on one of the hellebore recipes (see photo below). I had to substitute a few things - I didn't have any mock orange, so I used stems of wintersweet with its fresh new spring leaves, and some white primulas. And I didn't have tulips so I used hellebores in a different colour. Oh, and the first ranunculus of the season had to be celebrated, so I slipped that in there too! I'm really happy with this one. It's not a carbon copy (and not meant to be) but helped me to arrange in a way I normally wouldn't, and most importantly, nothing flopped!