This treasury of floral design includes lavish photography and tricks of the trade for crafting unforgettable arrangements.
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Each of these new titles approaches flower arranging quite differently. Reminiscent of fellow Britisher Fiona Barrett's The New Flower Arranger (LJ 12/95), Edward's book covers the typical elements of design, container selection, color theory, shaping techniques, basic equipment, flower conditioning, and preservation, followed by "recipes" for a variety of arrangements. The unique addition is a plant directory at the end of the volume featuring clear photos of over 200 plants commonly used in floral design, their common and Latin names, availability, conditioning requirements, preservation methods, fragrance, vase life, and possible dangers. Other photos are small. The price makes this a worthwhile purchase for libraries lacking other basic flower-arrangement books. Lefferts, an American floral designer, exhibits an offbeat style of flower arrangement, emphasizing asymmetry and breaking the "rules." The copious color photographs examining this style outweigh the brief but chatty text. Lefferts's unusual suggestions include dying water to complement blossoms in clear vases and using items of clothing as containers. Her arrangements include fresh, dried, silk, and even ceramic flowers. The section on "special occasions" focuses mostly on weddings. As in Edwards's book, there is a useful photo glossary of over 100 flowers; lists of resources complete the text. Imaginative and pictorially lush, this book belongs in the coffee-table genre by price and design. Fresh Cuts, not for floral traditionalists, is nontheless informative and uplifting for anyone who cares about natural beauty. Divided into "Body" and "Soul," the text takes a closer look at all parts of a plant?bark, branches, buds, pods, leaves, and seeds?dead or alive or even diseased. Accompanying Hall's sensuous, realistic photos, Von Gal's text is by turns personal, instructive, and poetic. The reader will not find quaint nosegays or formal centerpieces here but rather bouquets of rhubarb chard and simple arrangements of oak galls or red clover from this U.S. designer. A fine complement to larger collections.?Cathy Sabol, Northern Virginia Community Coll., Manassas
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Although this sumptuous guide to flower arrangement includes a chapter devoted to decorative effects that may be achieved with dried plant material, silk, and even ceramic flowers, the overall presentation proclaims the exuberant beauty of freshly cut flowers. Instructive text accompanies lavish illustrations of floral displays, providing the reader with basic information on conditioning flowers, choosing containers, and descriptions of different styles of arrangement; still, tips and design suggestions appear secondary to the sheer visual pleasure the gorgeous images afford. Most practical of all is a concluding glossary with accessible information for the hands-on reader; listings include photographs, descriptions, plant culture, and specific instructions to ensure the long life of flowers. Alice Joyce
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