Flowers have surrounded me my entire life. My mother cultivated a beautiful garden while I was growing up, a garden she still cares for today. When the time came for me to move into my own house, and I was lucky enough to acquire one with a rather large backyard, I started my own flower garden. Though a good number of my plants are hydrangeas, which are my personal favorites, I also grow a lot of other flowers.
With so many flowers around me during the spring and summer seasons, I often create small bouquets or arrangements. These are what I give away as hostess presents when I go to a party, what I use to decorate my home, and I sometimes bring some to church. Up until my daughter's theatre recital, I'd always made small flower arrangements. For her recital, I needed to make some larger arrangements, and because they turned out well, they inspired me to further explore the world of floral arranging, specifically larger arrangements.
Without really looking for it, I came across The Art of Floral Arranging: Learning from the Master Florists at Flower School New York at a local second-hand bookstore. I flipped through some of the pages and immediately wanted a copy of my own, but I wasn't willing to buy the one at the bookstore because it was in pretty bad shape. Luckily, I found a brand new copy at Amazon.com and quickly ordered it. The book arrived very soon after I'd ordered it, and I eagerly flipped through the pages once more.
Now, what I love about this book is that it gives you great step-by-step instructions on how to create rather large floral arrangements, which is exactly what I wanted! This book gave me a lot of good ideas and inspiration. Coupled with what I'd learned about flower arranging before, I was able to take the ideas in this book and apply them towards different flowers and different styles. I see this book as a great guide to those who want to learn more about floral arranging, to take their craft one step further.
Despite my being content with The Art of Floral Arranging, I noticed that not every customer is happy. I have read some reviews from upset customers that complain that 1) there isn't enough material in this book, 2) the arrangements are too complicated, and 3) they didn't learn anything. As someone who has been making flower arrangements for some time, I'd like to answer each of these complaints.
First, admittedly, there are only seven flower arrangements with step-by-step instructions, but these seven arrangements are quite beautiful. I think starting with just seven arrangements makes this book good for those who want to better their floral arranging, as I did, but it also helps those who are still unsure when it comes to floral arranging because it gives them a good base to practice with.
Second, I will also have to admit that this book can be intimidating for someone who is a total beginner at flower arranging because the arrangements often feature over two dozen stems, and getting this right can be really tricky if you're just starting out. That being said, a big part of flower arranging involves practice and trial-and-error. That means they have to keep trying!
Third, and finally, I think that it's important to focus on the word “art.” This book is meant to give inspiration. It's meant to show people how certain things can be done, giving anyone who leafs through it some good basic knowledge on flower arranging. But it in no way removes the creativity from floral arranging by telling you exactly what to do in each arrangement. Remember, it is still an “art” and a lot of your personal inspiration and creativity should come through when you arrange flowers. In other words, this is not a textbook, but an inspirational guide.
I consider The Art of Floral Arranging a great resource material for anyone who loves and appreciates flowers and likes floral arrangements. Those who want to do more with their flowers will really like this book, and beginners will love the challenge this book presents!
Where can I get my own copy of The Art of Floral Arranging?