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Garden to Vase: Growing and Using Your Own Cut Flowers Hardcover – Illustrated, May 1, 2007
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From the Inside Flap
When you feel the urge to re-create the combinations of color and texture that enliven your garden in arrangements to enjoy indoors, does a crisis of confidence follow? Which flowers should I use? Will they last in a vase? At what stage should I pick them? Do they need some kind of conditioning? Could I be growing other plants that would add excitement to my arrangements?
The answers to these questions, and many more, can be found herein. An accomplished gardener and professional florist, Linda Beutler offers unique insights into creating inspired floral arrangements and growing the plants that go into them.
In her lively and down-to-earth syle she explores the essence of floral design; making creative use of plants you're already growing; techniques for harvesting and preparing cut flowers; bouquet basics; and creating arrangments for special occasions. She devotes an entire chapter to the well-loved mainstays: lilies, narcissi, tulips, roses, peonies, hydrangeas, and tropical flowers.
A wealth of expert information culminates in an alphabetical directory that describes the flowers, foliage, and fruit of more than 200 oustanding plants that are as lovely in the garden as in a vase. Each entry includes the plant's botanical and common names; its habit, hardiness, height, fragrance, and appearance; when it can be harvestedd; how to grow it; how it should be conditioned; and insider tips about what to look for if you're purchasing cut stems rather than growing the plant yourself.
Allan Mandell's breathaking photographs show flowers in full color at every stage from the garden to finished arrangement. Visually stunning and replete with information both practical and inspirational, Garden to Vase will help you grow both as a gardener and as an artist of the garden's bounty.
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My disappointments: NO index! There is a plant name index, flower meaning table, a botanical latin guide, bibliography, etc.; however, this book is much more than a listing of flowers. If one wants to research foliage or conditioning solution, good luck finding it without an index. One has to leaf through the entire book.
Second, the flower arrangements are gorgous but the flowers are not identified in any of the photos. The arrangement on the book's cover is breathtaking, and although I am an avid gardener, I could only identify two of the flowers in that particular photo. Considering the subject matter of this book, it is a travesty to not provide more detailed information on the many arrangements.
Third, very little information is provided on foliage or filler flowers for arrangements or a guide as to ratios of flowers to fillers to foliage, etc.
Fourth, the author beats up hybrid tea roses pretty hard (which is fine) and then waxes eloquently about old garden roses and how they should be the choice for a garden. Only one problem--there are many old garden roses that do not work as cut flowers because they shatter. And, when the author provides a list of the 12 best roses to grow for cutting, none of them are old garden roses (unless you consider the Austin roses to be old garden roses), and nearly half are hybrid teas!
Do I like this book? Yes; however, when I need essential information and it is not available in this type of reference, it is annoying, and especially knowing it may be in the book, but I cannot find it quickly because of the lack of an index.
The first part of the book covers all the "how-to-do" basics and includes stunning color photos of flower arrangements, many created from typical home gardens. She illustrates design techniques, discusses seasonal uses, advises on which plants (and fruits) to grow or buy for both fresh and dry creations. The second half of the book covers many familiar flowers, vines and shrubs in detail--many photographed in companion plantings. Each entry includes whether it is annual or perennial, planting zone, anticipated size and other details found in most garden books. But then she expands each entry to include garden availability, harvesting, conditioning, vase life and buying tips. Reading her informative and chatty text is more like talking with a gardening friend. For example, tulips are her favorite flowers because her father gave her a bouquet of red tulips for her tenth birthday.
This beautiful book is also full of creative ideas for making unusual containers out of pumpkins, gourds and basically anything that will hold water and if it doesn't do that, she has tips for making it work! I could go on and on about what a great garden book this is. If you buy it as a gift for a gardening friend, you'd better get two because once you see what it has to offer, you are going to want to keep it for yourself!
Things I didn't know, about each type of cutting flower. How to make them last. I cut flowers every Thursday for our business and they stay out through Sunday, so this is really what I was looking for. Thanks!
for cut-flower 1) inspiration and 2) knowledge when it comes to flowers from my own garden. I admit I've been a bit intimidated when going out in my yard with shears in hand, fear of "wrecking" what flower display I did have outside. Linda Beutler's extensive first-hand experience as both gardener and florist is helping to dispell the limiting factors of my own beliefs. And, on another level, her creative ideas think outside the box, and add many more plants to what I "thought" could be used for cut flowers. The key for me is, she shows how to SUCCESSFULLY use all these plants--successful both for flower arrangement indoors and for the vigor of the plant that's growing out in your garden.
This book tells you everything you need to know, from bloom time to potential in a vase, from how to condition a cut flower properly to the light/soil/water needs of the plant itself. And much more. Lots of artistic inspiration for the beautiful arrangements in vases (and inspiration for the vases!). Encyclopedia sections are comprehensive and easy to read.
Linda's writing style is a pleasure, fun and whimsical, from an obviously very intelligent source. My mind is expanded! And it's been a fun journey.
Thank you, Linda!