Hot Off the Press: Simple Flower Arranging

Simple Flower Arranging by Mark Welford and Stephen Wicks
(DK Publishing, 2014)

This visually stunning book is a piece of art itself, but you won’t want to just leave it on the table. Entitled Simple Flower Arranging, Step-By-Step Designs & Techniques, this is a collection of recipes for flower arrangements from the truly simple (gypsophila in vases) to the jaw-dropping spectacular (orchids suspended in a vase with a hydrangea top hat).

hot off the press imageThis collaborative effort from Mark Welford and Stephen Wicks, who own Bloomsbury Flowers in London, includes a short course in the essentials of flower arranging. It has glossaries of vase, foliage and flower types, along with descriptions of basic equipment (clippers and floral foam), not-so-basic equipment (paint brush and chicken wire) and instructions on prepping the flowers.

Most of the book is devoted to beautiful color photos of 60 floral arrangements—bouquets, vases, flower-covered foam displays, garlands—with the promised step-by-step instructions that also include clear color photos for each step. The authors provide a recipe for each arrangement with a list of ingredients (and substitutions) and technique tips.

Among the more unusual arrangements are those that the authors call “plantiques,” which use cut flowers along with potted plants. Some arrangements incorporate herbs, such as tulips in a rosemary-lined vase, or edibles. One even uses heads of garlic and whole figs.

You will have to spend a lot of money to achieve some of the gorgeous arrangements even if you grow your own flowers, but they’re not all big-buck endeavors. Some of displays use tin cans, wine bottles and cheese wheel containers.

—Julie Jensen