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I’m a little flower obsessed. Whether that’s growing them, plotting my cut flower garden, buying them, photographing them, foraging them, wearing them, drying them, or learning all about them, the folklore behind the blooms, and for my birthday last month, my husband bought me these wonderful books and I loved them so much I thought I would share.
These flower books will help you plan your own cut flower garden, design gorgeous floral arrangements no matter the season, help you create with dried flowers, showcase the wonderful art of pressed flowers, as well as help you find the meanings behind your favourite flowers.
My favourite flower coffee books:
Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms (2017) by Erin Benzakein
Erin Benzakein is a florist-farmer, who I’ve become a little obsessed with on Instagram, who shares a behind-the-scenes look at her Floret Flower Farm in Washington’s lush Skagit Valley. I love seeing all the different blooms she has been growing, and this book is the ultimate guide to growing your very own flower garden of your dreams.
It is equal parts instruction and inspiration, you will discover everything you need to know about how to grow flowers, when to harvest them, as well as, of course, how to arrange a seasonal bouquet, as there are a number of projects at the end of each season.
This is a masterclass I need to get my cut flower garden and I can’t wait to start growing. I love that there are easy-to-follow steps for planting, cultivating, and harvesting more than 175 varieties of flowers. These include some of my absolute favourites like daffodils, lilacs, and peonies in the spring, to dahlias, roses and delphiniums in the summer, and chrysanthemums and sunflowers in the autumn, while in winter it is all about foraging as well as narcissuses.
I’m currently in the process of planning my cut flower garden and I can’t wait to follow this book through the seasons. Of course, my plot won’t be nearly as big, but I love all the practical advice on getting started, as well as inspiration on which flowers grow well – it really has helped me narrow down which flowers I will plant up, and hopefully next year I will be able to share my own floral bouquets and centrepieces around the house.
‘Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden’ by Erin Benzakein [Ad-Aff Link] (£21.99, Chronicle Books)
Floret Farm’s A Year in Flowers (2020) by Erin Benzakein
This wonderful follow-up flower book from Erin Benzakein is a definitive guide to seasonal flower arranging, if you have ever wanted to know what flowers to buy and style to make the perfect season flower arrangement, along with which tools you will need, how to care for your flowers and the secrets behind the best design techniques, you will adore this book.
You get all the easy-to-follow and inspiring floral expert advice from Erin, following on from her debut book, as well as an A-Z flower guide with photos and care tips for more than 200 varieties, which is super helpful, alongside more than 25 how-to projects, from amazing centrepieces, giftable bouquets, festive wreaths, and breathtaking bridal bouquets and wrist corsages.
If the tips weren’t enough, the photography and the arrangements are just so beautiful and inspiring it will have you rushing to the florist to pick out flowers for your first project.
What I love about this book has to be the flower selections of the projects, they are inspiring, modern and unique, from creating a vignette of daffodils to a posy filled with pansies, a meadow-inspired centrepiece with hydrangeas and wildflowers, and a pink dreamy cosmos bouquet.
I also like the idea of dipping into this book each new season, spring and summer are easy to be inspired, autumn and winter needs a little helping hand sometimes and this book will certainly help you fill your house with flowers all year round.
‘Floret Farm’s A Year in Flowers’ by Erin Benzakein [Ad-Aff Link] (£21.99, Chronicle Books)
Everlastings: How to grow, harvest and create with dried flowers (2020) by Bex Partridge
I’ve long been a fan of dried flowers, I love how easy it is to create long-lasting displays, and it seems like everyone is crushing over how easy it is to add florals around the home using dried flowers and this book from Bex Partridge of Botanical Tales offers inspiration and advice on how to grow, harvest and create dried flowers.
The first half of the book, Bex Partridge shares her love of dried flowers, the tools and materials you will need, as well as how to take care of dried flowers, the foundations of growing and harvesting and how to dry.
There is also a useful ‘what to dry’ list of flowers and plants that are good for drying, featuring flowers, seed heads, grasses and leaves. However, unlike Erin Benzakein’s Floret Farm guides, this list isn’t accompanied with images of the flowers, which I actually think would have been more useful and easier to refer back to. But it does list the flowers by name, common and botanical, as well as picking time, and drying method.
The second half of the book is dedicated to creating, with 20 step-by-step projects, including wreaths, table decorations, hanging garlands, dome jars and wearables such as floral crowns and hair combs, which are beautifully photographed alongside advice and the best techniques to create them.
There is a lot of inspiration in this book, it really showcases how versatile dried flowers can be, as well as how contemporary the finished display can look, I will definately be making a few of these projects from the wreaths to the botanical mobile, and the gorgeous place settings for a dinner party.
My favourite project though has to be the Dome Jar featuring dried flowers, seed heads and grasses in a glass dome jar, I just love how they capture a moment like a photograph and I can’t wait to add some memories around the house.
Everlastings: How to grow, harvest and create with dried flowers by Bex Partridge [Ad-Aff Link] (£14,99, Hardie Grant Books)
The Language of Flowers: A Fully Illustrated Compendium of Meaning, Literature, and Lore for the Modern Romantic (2020) by Odessa Begay
This is one of the most beautiful flower books I own. I love illustrated books, I have a number of fashion ones, so I think my husband did well picking out this stunning book for me, as it is filled with gorgeous full-colour illustrations, ornate decorative elements and lettering in metallic ink as well as sharing the contemporary anthology of 50 of the world’s most storied and popular flowers.
There is a romance about this book as each of the flowers references a fascinating mix of folklore, classic mythology, literature, botanical information and popular culture, and I was captivated from cover-to-cover finding out about all my favourite flowers.
Like did you know that Christian Dior’s passion for lily of the valley inspired his classic perfume Diorissimo and its extraordinary bottle, or that foxgloves mean wishfulness, or how honeysuckle was believed to help remove freckles in Scottish lore, or how lavender was widely recognised as a symbol of mistrust and deceit, or how medieval Europeans believed that peonies could ward off evil and magic.
I even found the flower of 2020, the chrysanthemum as represents cheerfulness under adversity. Kind of perfect don’t you think for the current climate.
This book is a must for lovers of floriology and Victoriana, and I particularly love the illustrations as well as the suggestions for further reading – if you love flowers you will adore finding out more about your favourite blooms.
The Language of Flowers by Odessa Begay [Ad-Aff Link] (£25, Harper Collins)
The Art of Pressed Flowers and Leaves: Contemporary techniques & designs (2019) by Jennie Ashmore
The final book on my list is more of a craft book than the others but on a subject, I’m just rediscovering pressed flower art, and this book from leading flower artist, Jennie Ashmore shares advice on how to go about pressing and preparing your flowers and leaves, as well as techniques, projects and a plant directory, which allows you to see what various plants look like when pressed.
This book really offers a contemporary and unusual look at pressed flowers, such as how to combine pressed flowers with watercolours, or metallic colours, as well as using leaves and flowers to create patterns, and how to achieve symmetry and understanding the use of colour.
It is much more than just selecting your favourite flowers and leaves to press, this is about creating memories, such as the ideas she shares about creating press flower collages from bridal bouquet, as well as unique artworks using various template techniques – I love the idea of a circular design, building up pressed flower circles from the centre to create a dramatic display.
If like me you loved pressing flowers this book will open up new possibilities and inspire you to do something more, as well as want to go out into nature and discover unique leaves and pretty flowers to press.
The Art of Pressed Flowers and Leaves by Jennie Ashmore [Ad-Aff Link] (£16.99, Pavilion Books)